Nature of Radial Stages
Q We now come to radial development. What are the radial stages?
PC The radial stages represent the mature incorporation of both the differentiated (dual) and integrated (nondual) aspects of development.
Basically the lower levels relate to the gradual differentiation of structures in development.
The middle stages relate to the specialised differentiated expression of these structures.
Then - when development continues successfully - the "higher" stages relate to the gradual (mature) integration of understanding, which culminates in pure nondual spiritual awareness of reality.
So Radial Reality is then concerned with the mature interaction of both (specialised) differentiated and integral understanding.
Q However you use the term in two distinct ways?
PC Yes! In a dynamic manner everyone has continuous access - however limited - to all stages of development. So in a certain sense once development commences, one is already operating at Radial Reality in that a relationship as between the twin aspects of differentiation and integration thereby necessarily exists.
However in most cases - because of insufficient specialisation with respect to either the differentiated or integral aspects - only a limited attenuated experience will result.
Thus though everyone does indeed - at any stage - already enjoy a certain participation in Radial Reality, I more customarily use the term to refer to an advanced type of development (where considerable specialisation has taken place with respect to both the differentiated and integral aspects).
Even here we can distinguish two main variations.
The first is the more active mystical type where - relatively - the differentiated aspect dominates (though significant nondual integral awareness will also be present).
The second is the more passive (i.e. contemplative) type where - relatively - the integral aspect is more evident (though again significant phenomenal activity will take place).
Of course the most outstanding exemplars will creatively combine both activity and contemplation to a marked extent.
However the "perfect" expression of radial development remains something of an ideal and human experience - even in its most advanced expressions - is always subject to certain limitations.
Q Why do you use the term "radial" to refer to this most comprehensive type of development?
PC The term arises very much in the context of my holistic mathematical approach.
Radial refers in geometrical terms to the radial lines (i.e. radii) which are drawn - in opposite directions - from the centre of a circle to the outer circumference (in horizontal, vertical and diagonal terms).
So a radial approach - in holistic mathematical terms - combines the notion of linear understanding which can be taken in one direction (sequentially) or alternatively in both directions (simultaneously). It also combines circular understanding (in the outer circumference) and indeed the spiritual centre of being in the non-dimensional point from which both linear and circular understanding emanate. It even conveys the paradoxical notion of nondual awareness being simultaneously nowhere (yet everywhere) in the interpretation of the diagonal i.e. null lines.
However radial also has another meaning which is directly implied by the holistic mathematical interpretation already given.
This is the notion of rays (of light) or radiance that symbolises the deeply illumined spiritual nature of this state (with its accompanying flexible structures).
Q You make the important observation that radial is not to be confused with nondual reality!
PC Technically I consider it quite inaccurate to refer to this most advanced expression of life - where contemplation and activity interpenetrate to a marked degree - as nondual.
It is only correct - and then with certain reservations - to refer to the state of pure contemplative awareness as "nondual", (though strictly as we have seen this is always necessarily associated with the very refined paradoxical i.e. bi-directional appreciation of phenomena).
However the radial stages - in the context in which I define them - entail considerable active re-immersion in worldly affairs (which is necessarily of a one-directional dualistic nature).
So Radial Reality is therefore both dual and nondual (though in an extremely refined manner). Indeed it is precisely because of the depth of nondual contemplative awareness continually present in "radial" personalities that such a high degree of dualistic involvement in the world can be embraced with considerable equanimity.
Q How do you precisely distinguish radial from integral development?
PC Integral development entails - as we have seen - a considerable degree of supporting differentiated appreciation. However it is mainly of a bi-directional nature.
The "higher" spiritual stages are necessarily associated with the need to become detached from any possessive identification with phenomena (which results from rigid one-directional understanding).
In other words, the specialised differentiation of structures, which culminates at the middle stages, is associated with an arbitrary asymmetrical interpretation of form. It thereby encourages a rigid attachment to phenomena, which are understood in a somewhat absolute fashion.
Bi-directional understanding is therefore necessary to first appreciate the arbitrary nature of such interpretation and then to undo attachment (in co-operation with emerging Spirit) through keen paradoxical appreciation.
So therefore the development of the integral aspect (in pure contemplative awareness) is associated with the continual discipline whereby all arbitrary dualistic attachment is undone through specialised bi-directional appreciation.
Not surprisingly while one is perfecting - as it were - this disciplined form of awareness, there can be a marked reduction in (dualistic) one-directional involvement.
Thus in many traditions, specialised contemplative development is associated with monastic type communities that entail considerable withdrawal from the world.
Even in the lives of those contemplatives who stay in the world, typically we can identify lengthy periods of withdrawal from its affairs (which are devoted to the intense undoing of dualistic attachment).
However the maturest form of development requires that one is able to fully re-engage with dualistic activity without becoming selfishly attached to its phenomenal expressions.
Therefore in the final stages we often see in the lives of the greatest mystics an intense commitment to the world and its needs with the burning desire to seek its transformation (through the same light that they themselves have been transformed).
So therefore we have two directions (which are fully incorporated in the most advanced expressions of radial activity).
Firstly we have that from dual to nondual.
This starts with the arbitrary asymmetric) one-directional identification of phenomena which - if unchecked - is inevitably associated with rigid i.e. possessive attachment.
Such phenomenal identification is then transformed - as it were - through bi-directional appreciation (which we have identified in three main stages). This enables thereby the growing flexible interchange between phenomena (without undue attachment).
This bi-directional activity then culminates in pure nondual spiritual awareness.
Now where the emphasis is mainly on contemplative type attainment, the trend in development will be largely from one-directional, to bi-directional, to nondual awareness.
However with the radial stages there will now be significant development in both directions.
So from the contemplative perspective one-directional appreciation will be continually transformed through bi-directional awareness culminating in nondual contemplation.
However, equally this contemplative awareness will give way - in reverse fashion - to bi-directional appreciation and then to the (reduced) one-directional dualistic representations at a phenomenal level (which directly define worldly activity).
Quite simply - as a general rule - the more detached one has become in spiritual terms from phenomena, the more successfully one can re-engage with them (in dualistic terms) without possessive involvement arising.
For example in Christianity some of its greatest mystics such as St. Paul invested superhuman levels of creative energy in the world (in an ardent desire to seek its transformation). This entailed dealing with many seemingly intractable (dualistic) problems both of a human and administrative nature.
Q From what you say radial development is not assured even for those who have attained significant development at the "higher" spiritual stages?
PC We have to be careful here. Remember that - by definition - one is already at Radial Reality (as differentiated and integral aspects are necessarily interrelated).
Also there is a very important sense in which its most advanced expressions are shared by all (as they are experienced on behalf of humanity).
However having said that I believe that it is very common for contemplative type development to become somewhat stuck at a "higher" stage without significant interpenetration being restored with (one-directional) phenomenal activity.
Then - quite literally - in remaining largely devoted to "passive" contemplation, such persons are destined to remain as spiritual patients for the remainder of their lives.
It is far easier, I believe to approach Radial Reality from the active perspective where contemplative attainment is less developed than practical commitment to the World. This is why so often the great doers in life - who seemingly achieve the most creative expression of their talents - operate largely from the centaur level (with - in relative terms - limited contemplative attainment).
So the active expressions of Radial Reality (with limited contemplative attainment) are the most common.
The passive expressions (with limited active involvement) also certainly exist (though are less frequent).
The most developed expressions of Radial Reality (which creatively combine both contemplation and activity in equal measure) are in fact very rare.
Q I can see that you have been more concerned with the passive expressions of development but from a very new angle as it were?
PC That is correct! As I see it, though there is evidence of significant contemplative attainment in all the major spiritual traditions, the actual expression of such experience has been largely through the secondary rather than primary use of symbols.
Also in general there has been an undue emphasis on spiritual states without sufficient recognition of the role of increasingly refined supporting phenomenal structures.
So my own approach has been largely concerned with a more universal cognitive type appreciation through a scientific investigation of the basic structures associated with all types of development.
From an intellectual perspective this has extremely important consequences.
Instead of one we now have three general types of inquiry
- Analytic (based on one-directional asymmetric interpretation of reality that is suited to differentiation).
- Holistic (based on bi-directional complementary interpretation that is suited to integration).
As (academic) intellectual interpretation - as I define it - is largely of the analytic type, this leaves - in holistic and radial terms - a vast unexplored territory with respect to all disciplines.
- Radial (based on the consistent interplay of both one-directional and bi-directional interpretation that is suited for differentiation and integration).
Q And you have found that these structures are all mathematical in nature?
PC More precisely they are all of a holistic mathematical nature. So development - through and through - is mathematical in this dynamic interpretation. In the most fundamental sense such mathematics provides the basic interface connecting both the dual and nondual realms.
Q Can you briefly indicate the nature of integral appreciation (as pure contemplative awareness) in terms of your eight-sectoral approach?
PC From the horizontal perspective, in dualistic terms we tend to separate the (interior) psychological self from (exterior) physical reality.
Indeed initially mystical development is - somewhat misleadingly - viewed with respect to the (interior) self.
However such development equally applies to both aspects (interior and exterior) which in dynamic terms are complementary.
So at any moment in experience, the self is in relation to the world (and the world in relation to self) so that a change in either aspect thereby causes a transformation with respect to the other.
Thus interior growth in mystical terms will inevitably cause a transformation with respect to exterior (physical) reality. Likewise growth in our phenomenal understanding of the world will cause a transformation in psychological (interior) experience.
So the attainment of pure contemplative awareness necessarily entails the complete integration of both the psychological and physical aspects of reality.
Thus from one perspective the (psychological) self realises its supreme destiny (as pure unobstructed Spirit). Likewise from the equally valid alternative perspective (physical) reality realises its own destiny (as pure Spirit). So both aspects are thereby identical (as Spirit).
It makes little sense therefore from an integral perspective to view development in terms of any unambiguous asymmetric ranking of stages (e.g. matter, life, mind, soul, Spirit).
Indeed we move from such one-directional understanding to true integral appreciation through the ready recognition that an equally valid alternative ranking always exists (which in dynamic terms is opposite in direction).
Likewise in dualistic terms we tend to separate the vertical aspects (i.e. individual and collective).
We thereby see the (individual) self as separate from the (collective) whole of reality.
However again this distinction breaks down through the process of obtaining pure integral (i.e. contemplative) awareness.
This entails a gradual impersonal extension - as it were - of the sense of self until ultimately it becomes identical with the universal aspect of self (as pure Spirit).
Equally from the other perspective through personal intimacy the universal aspect is seen to be identical with the (individual) self.
In this way the part is fully identified with the whole and the whole fully identified with the part (as pure Spirit).
Finally, in dualistic terms we separate the diagonal aspects (form and emptiness).
We therefore tend to see matter as separate from Spirit.
However increasingly through mystical development form becomes interdependent with emptiness (and emptiness with form).
What this entails is that from one perspective, emptiness (as Spirit) is seen to transcend all phenomenal form (as matter).
However equally from the other perspective, emptiness (as Spirit) is seen to be fully immanent in all phenomenal form (as the very source of matter).
So once again in the pure attainment of contemplation, the transcendent and immanent aspects are fully identified as pure nondual awareness.
So all opposite polarities - that have an unambiguous (separate) interpretation in dualistic terms - are thus seen to be identical in nondual Spirit.
Q However you do not see the attainment of contemplative awareness as an end in itself?
PC Once again we have to appreciate this from a dynamic experiential viewpoint.
I often use the example of a fire which represents material being converted into (physical) energy. Now an undue focus on contemplation is like concentrating on the flames from a fire (without attempting to replenish the material). What of course will happen in this case is that the fire will eventually die out.
Now it is similar in contemplative terms. If we do not focus on the need to keep replenishing the material (i.e. phenomenal dualistic activity), contemplation too will eventually lose its strength and die out.
Therefore, whereas the integral stages are - as is appropriate - intimately concerned with the efficient generation of (spiritual) energy from phenomenal material, ultimately this material must be replenished through the activity of the radial level (for contemplation itself to be properly sustained).
Q Can we discuss now the three "stages" of Radial Reality (i.e. Radial 1, Radial 2 and Radial 3)? Firstly there seems to be some development in your thinking as previously you identified only two radial stages!
PC Yes! I had failed initially to see an obvious consequence of my own approach.
In other words I had defined the three integral levels in terms of progressive movement through the three sets of polarities (horizontal, vertical and diagonal).
However when we take the reverse movement back towards dualistic involvement, this again necessarily entails three radial levels.
So Radial 1 is defined in terms of the incorporation of the diagonal polarities (in dualistic differentiated terms) with integral nondual awareness.
This therefore entails both the mature relative integration and differentiation of H3 (and L3) with the middle level (L0, H0).
Radial 2 is then defined in terms of the additional incorporation of the vertical polarities (in dualistic differentiated terms) with integral nondual awareness.
So we now have the mature relative integration and differentiation of H3 (and L3) and H2 (and L2) with the middle level (L0, H0).
Finally Radial 3 is defined in terms of the subsequent incorporation of the horizontal polarities (in dualistic differentiated terms) with integral nondual awareness.
This leads to the mature relative integration and differentiation of all other levels i.e. H3 (and L3), H2 (and L2) and H1 (and L1) with the middle level (L0, H0).
So Radial 3 represents the most comprehensive development possible where all stages are understood with respect to both their mature differentiated and integral aspects, which then fully interpenetrate each other in dynamic terms.
This therefore gives a more acceptable developmental manner of expressing how the full interaction of differentiated with integrated structures gradually unfolds..
Radial 1 Approach
Q Can we deal now in a little more detail with the Radial 1 Approach, which you maintain defines your present approach?
PC To be more precise I would characterise this as a preliminary Radial 1 approach with a distinct cognitive emphasis.
Its very nature is that it attempts to give an overall consistent view of development where the precise relationship as between differentiated and integral aspects is clearly distinguished (for every stage).
Also this is directly meant as a fully scientific account where all key interactions are precisely encoded in a holistic mathematical format. (We will explain in more detail how this encoding is applied in future discussions!)
As I have stated on numerous occasions a key problem with present approaches (e.g. Ken Wilber's work) is that they are not properly consistent in integral terms. This is due in turn to faulty translation of the dynamic nature of development.
Appropriate dynamic interpretation requires an appropriate means of distinguishing differentiated asymmetric type relationships (as independent) from their consequent integral complementary interpretation (as interdependent).
As we have seen, though these two aspects are necessarily interrelated, they require distinctive means of interpretation.
Otherwise they are confused so that intellectual inconsistency is the inevitable result.
Q You refer to this as a preliminary Radial 1 approach. Does this suggest that a more comprehensive treatment is required (which is perhaps your intention)?
PC I believe - especially in my emphasis on the holistic mathematical nature of all key developmental structures - that I am offering a truly original approach.
However one great problem about original work is that - by definition - there are no real reference points with which to assess its merits. Therefore communication can prove very difficult with perhaps most people simply ignoring what initially they cannot properly assess.
And from a certain perspective this is quite understandable! As we know there is no shortage of crackpot explanations for everything out there (which have been growing exponentially since the mass development of the Internet).
Of course I do not see this particular approach as a crackpot explanation of development and I am fully confident that those who engage themselves with my approach will begin to appreciate its merits.
However this all takes time! So I would envisage perhaps a good deal of preliminary discussion before being able to provide a more acceptably "packaged" presentation (relating more directly to present developments in the field).
However though a Mark 2 version may indeed be more presentable and comprehensive (allowing for important additional insights) it would not be substantially different as the basic message is already quite clear.
Q You define the Radial 1 stage in terms of the incorporation of the diagonal polarities (in dualistic differentiated terms) with integral nondual awareness. What do you mean by this?
PC It may be helpful to go back to H3 (i.e. home of the Integral 3 approach) with which it is closely associated. Indeed in experiential terms development may well tend to initially fluctuate as between H3 and Radial 1 for some time.
Thus from one perspective, H3 enables the reconciliation of form (as highly refined phenomenal structures) with emptiness (as a pure spiritual state).
Equally it represents the reconciliation of the affective and cognitive aspects (through pure integration with the will) so that the conscious expression of one aspect is directly associated with the unconscious expression of the other.
Therefore one realises in an experiential manner that cognitive and affective aspects are fully complementary. Thus any conscious expression (with respect to one) will inevitably be associated with an unconscious counterpart (with respect to the other).
And when such complementarity is properly recognised (as it is at H3), then the unconscious can become indirectly expressed in consciousness (as pure archetypal form).
Furthermore both cognitive and affective aspects are enabled to interact freely in a highly flexible manner.
This is all very important in the context of a scientific approach to development, which is formally presented in a largely cognitive manner. However from what I have been stating - indirectly - this requires that its complementarity with the affective aspect be now fully recognised.
So integration is truly an all-quadrant affair (or as a state no-quadrant) at H3.
Because H3 therefore requires a considerable mastery of the dynamics of both cognitive and affective aspects (in exterior and interior terms) it culminates in a state of deep spiritual rest (where possessive attachment of either a conscious or unconscious nature largely ceases).
In his famous poem on "The Dark Night" St. John of the Cross refers to this as
"my house being now all stilled".
In other words because of lengthy purification - through the dynamic negation of phenomena - one is no longer troubled by unconscious impulses or unwanted desires.
Thus with the gradual re-emergence of light (in the rebirth of phenomenal creation) one initially can take an extremely passive (i.e. contemplative) view which is ideal in terms of literally "seeing" its overall integration.
So therefore the Radial 1 approach as I define it - though it is formally expressed in an objective scientific manner - is actually based on a deeply contemplative perspective on creation that facilitates global integration with respect to its refined phenomenal structures of form.
Q You have discussed two mystical types i.e. the (idealistic) intellectual and the (emotional) romantic. Are these associated with distinctive expressions at Radial 1.
PC In a certain sense they are, though in contemplative terms all polarities (e.g. cognitive and affective) are reconciled.
Now - from the Christian perspective - the culmination of contemplative awareness in (impersonal) intellectual terms is a form of Divinisation (or Deification). Though this is sometimes expressed in a stark transcendent metaphysical manner as "I am God", in less controversial terms, it simply entails the deep nondual spiritual awareness that one's ultimate nature is identical with God (for in true union with God there can be no separation).
From the complementary (personal) affective stance, the culmination of contemplative awareness is a form of Spiritual Marriage in the intimate immanent awareness of the unconditional love of God for oneself and all creation.
Put another way, Spiritual Marriage represents the harmonisation of the masculine and feminine principles within the personality.
So in strict terms the mystical personality (revealed through nondual awareness) is androgynous.
However once again we should not confuse the nondual with the dualistic aspect, which is expressed through phenomenal activity.
Therefore when the mystic engages in the world it will - necessarily - be as either a male or female.
Differences in the traditional Eastern and Western emphasis on the ultimate nature of personality largely reflect distinctive perspectives.
Thus when the nondual emphasis is paramount as in many Eastern esoteric traditions, true attainment will be expressed in terms of the identity of the individual with ultimate spiritual reality (i.e. God).
However in the Western traditions - where greater emphasis is placed on the dualistic aspect of form - there remains a great reluctance even in union to identify the personality directly with God.
However this makes sense when we view the human being in dynamic psychophysical terms, where contemplative attainment - however advanced - must take place with respect to the physical body (which maintains its phenomenal nature).
So from this perspective full spiritual awareness (i.e. identity with God) is simply not possible while one remains a mortal being. Therefore in Christian terms, total spiritual union can only take place after (mortal) death in what is referred to as the Beatific Vision.
This is why in the final stages of Radial Reality, essential spiritual being (as nondual) is continuously mediated through one's limited phenomenal being (i.e. the ego).
So the ego is never completely eliminated (though it may remain largely dormant during specialised contemplative development). However it is - literally - revived in a very refined manner during the final radial stages.
In fact at this stage in evolution - in terms of what potentially is possible - even the most advanced expressions of mystical awareness are very limited .
Ultimately total attainment in individual terms is inseparable from the total spiritual attainment of the entire Kosmos (where only Spirit remains). So clearly we are still very far from that goal.
Q What is the relationship between natural and spiritual marriage. Does one exclude the other?
PC This indeed is a very interesting question. It is certainly the case historically that many who have deliberately set out on the path of true enlightenment have chosen celibacy as an option.
Therefore, though the normal human intimacies enjoyed in (natural) marriage do not necessarily constitute a barrier to the fullest experience of spiritual intimacy (through mystical union), in practice they often do create a problem.
I mentioned before how the true mystic experiences an unusually strong need to break with possessive attachment of all kinds and that such a personality can indeed only properly function when committed to such a task. So in this context the decision to remain celibate can serve as an important sign of this total commitment.
There are also practical reasons why celibacy in some cases might be a suitable state.
The single-minded commitment to mystical attainment is quite unusual and will clash in many ways with conventional expectations. Also the precise path towards attainment for each individual who starts on the journey is unique. Therefore it could in practice be especially difficult to fulfil the communication requirements associated with conventional marriage in such circumstances.
However it is also true that healthy spiritual development is based on true self-esteem and acceptance. Therefore the intimate type of relationship developed through marriage may for many prove very healthy in this regard thereby facilitating deep spiritual commitment.
So I would have a very open mind on the issue. I would consider that for most (natural) marriage would be the appropriate option (even for those with strong aspirations for spiritual advancement).
In a minority of cases - depending very much of personality and particular circumstances - celibacy is preferable. However I believe that it should be freely chosen.
Therefore the strong decline in priestly ministry in my own Church in Western countries is being greatly aggravated at present through a mandatory requirement of celibacy.
This I believe is due to the confusion of two distinct vocations i.e. to celibacy and to ministry. Most of those who do have a vocation to ministry do not in fact have any genuine calling to celibacy and this is the nub of so many problems that subsequently result.
Of course it should also be said that a vocation to ministry does not normally imply the desire for advanced contemplative attainment!
Sub-levels of Radial 1
Q Do the sub-levels (concrete, formal and vision) apply at the Radial 1 stage?
PC They do but in a qualified manner!
With earlier development, concrete, formal and vision stages are separated somewhat in sequential terms and then increasingly overlap at the "higher" spiritual stages.
So - by definition - with the full attainment at H3 concrete (part) and formal (whole) aspects are integrated.
However separation begins to take place again with the commencement of the Radial stages (i.e. Radial 1) occurring in the reverse sequence to which it took place during H3.
So we saw that the last stage before integration at H3 is related to the diagonal line (dividing UL and LR quadrants).
Therefore in reverse manner the first sub-level of Radial 1 (i.e. SL1) relates to the gradual differentiation with respect to both poles on this diagonal line.
So for example the holistic mathematical understanding of Radial 1 would relate - in direct terms - broadly to the LR quadrant (relating to an impersonal universal type cognitive interpretation of the dynamic structures of reality). Furthermore this would operate with respect to the transcendent aspect of spiritual understanding.
This would clearly be identified with the formal aspect of understanding of the stage.
However such understanding would be balanced in the diagonally opposite UL quadrant - which would now relate - relatively - to more intimate personalised appreciation at an interior affective level (where the immanent aspect of Spirit manifests itself).
This will then be identified with the concrete aspect of understanding.
So the abstract universalising tendencies with respect to the one quadrant have to be grounded in a more intimate personal involvement with respect to the other.
However at this stage limited active interaction will yet take place as between these extremes.
Again in cognitive terms one will attempt to deal with reality (impersonally) in its global collective aspect while in affective terms attempting to equally embrace reality (personally) in a specific localised manner.
Therefore though concrete and formal development take place simultaneously at the same stage they are still separated - in dualistic expression - both with respect to mode (i.e. cognitive and affective aspects) and direction (i.e. exterior and interior).
With the unfolding of the next stage of Radial 1 (SL2) - which is now associated with the differentiated expression of the other diagonal line dividing the UR and LL quadrants - an interesting change in dynamics will occur. Now in cognitive terms, one will place more emphasis on (individual) concrete facts while balancing this at the diagonally opposite interior level with a more general compassionate empathy with the world.
The concrete aspect of the stage is thus now associated with the cognitive aspect while the formal aspect is associated with the affective.
This therefore would better facilitate immersion in practical activities (that are more expressive of acquired contemplative awareness) while growing in a deeper affective concern for the wider world.
The final stage of Radial 1 (SL3) would then bring about - in a manner integrated with Spirit - greater dualistic interpenetration of opposite cognitive and affective aspects with respect to both their individual and collective expressions.
This in turn would facilitate the greater release of spiritual energy into dualistic activities paving the way for a new transformation in Radial 2 understanding.
So to conclude, just as the first differentiation of the diagonal polarities in early infant development relates to the (natural) bodyself, now in the context of radial development it relates to one's mystical body in the (mature) identification of the self with the entire world of form.
Radial 2 Approach
Q What distinguishes the Radial 2 stage from Radial 1?
PC Radial 1 was concerned largely with the renewed differentiation (within an overall integrated nondual context) of the diagonal polarities enabling the first mature interpenetration of the phenomenal world of form and spiritual emptiness.
However such refined dualistic distinctions that are made were still largely of a passive nature with contemplative awareness as the primary focus.
However Radial 2 enables a more dynamic interpenetration of dual and nondual realms. Here the vertical polarities i.e. whole and part (and part and whole) are developed to a considerable extent. In other words the general aspects of phenomena (i.e. as "whole" concepts) and their specific contents (as "part" perceptions) are differentiated in refined manner and then increasingly integrated with each other through the nondual contemplative aspect of awareness.
Sub-levels of Radial 2
Q Can you briefly outline the three sub-levels of Radial 2?
Once again we cannot really separate concrete and formal aspects. However cognitive and affective modes still remain somewhat separated in radial differentiated terms (this time in a vertical manner).
Now there are many consistent paths to development largely determined by personality type. So we are following here - as before - just one possible profile associated with the intellectual mystical personality.
So in the context in which we discussed this in relation to the previous stage (Radial 1), the Right-Hand quadrants are defined with respect to the (impersonal) cognitive structures (with the collective universal approach to reality initially dominating).
What we have now is a bottom-up approach where considerable interpenetration takes place as between (general) concepts and (specific) perceptual phenomena.
This constitutes - in radial terms - the applied (deductive) scientific approach.
With respect to radial mathematical interpretation, this would entail the consistent theoretical application of both holistic and analytic type concepts to a variety of fields creating an entirely new form of scientific understanding.
For example with respect to the cutting-edge area of Physics (i.e. M-Theory) this would imply both an analytic and philosophical (i.e. holistic) appreciation of its principles in a manner where both types of understanding are clearly related.
As I have already stated I would consider my currents efforts as representative of a preliminary Radial 1 (rather than a Radial 2) approach. A great deal of further development would be required to move on to this next stage. At best I would hope - perhaps in certain areas with which I am familiar - to eventually apply my ideas in a manner suggestive of Radial 2.
Once again at Radial 2, cognitive is balanced by affective understanding (this time in a vertical manner).
Therefore in personal affective terms, we would have a complementary top-down approach. What this means in effect is that one would gradually broaden one’s compassion in a more universal manner (i.e. away from merely local concerns).
However as cognitive and affective aspects are not yet fully combined in a differentiated fashion this would still limit the extent of one’s active involvement.
Now the SL2 stage of Radial 2 would relate to a reverse vertical appreciation of quadrants from both a cognitive and affective perspective.
So whereas the applied scientific approach in cognitive terms at SL1 was bottom-up (moving from concepts to perceptions in a deductive manner), the approach is now top-down (moving from perceptions to concepts in an inductive manner). In other words this would represent specialised radial development of the empirical scientific approach.
By contrast the affective counterpart (in interior terms) would be bottom-up moving from generalised universal notions of personal responsibility to the keen appreciation of their implications in specific terms. In other words one would now clearly see the need to express a universal spiritual responsibility for others in more active personal terms.
SL3 would involve the two-way interaction in vertical terms (with respect to both cognitive and affective terms) leading to the purest active spiritual expression so far of radial development.
Because this greatly increases the active outpouring of the Spirit into the World it leads to a further significant transformation culminating in the Radial 3 stage.
So once again just as the differentiation of the vertical polarities in infant development was associated with the emergence of the emotional self, in like manner we now have the emergence of an enhanced emotional self in mystical terms through growing compassionate identification with all of nature and humanity in a manner that is free of limited attachment. This is associated in turn with balanced mystical development of the more impersonal cognitive aspect enabling increasingly committed - yet detached - involvement in affairs.
Radial 3 Approach
Q Again briefly what distinguishes the Radial 3 stage?
PC Once again, Radial 1 leads to the radial differentiation of the diagonal polarities; Radial 2 then leads to the additional radial differentiation of the vertical polarities; then finally Radial 3 leads also to the radial differentiation of the horizontal polarities (i.e. exterior and interior (and interior and exterior).
This represents the really massive transformation, which distinguishes the superstars - as it were - of Radial Reality from other advanced participants.
As we have seen in the earlier stages (of radial development), cognitive and affective aspects remain somewhat separated (being largely confined to opposite quadrants).
However at this final stage this is reversed. So what was cognitive (and largely experienced in an objective impersonal manner is now likewise appreciated with respect to its interior direction; likewise what was affective (and largely experienced in a subjective personal fashion) is now likewise appreciated in an exterior objective fashion.
Sub-levels of Radial 3
Again we could speak in terms of substages though in truth there is a considerable amount of overlap involved.
Starting from the cognitive perspective, SL1 would entail the interiorising of what was formerly expressed as exterior. In this way for example one would be able to make better judgements as to the appropriate means of expressing active involvement in reality in what might be referred to as intuitively refined discernment (or more simply wisdom).
And the more the demands of activity impinge the more important is this quality of wisdom!
Likewise from the affective perspective, SL2 would entail the exteriorising of what was interior. So for example through such development compassion for the world would now be enabled to find a more active expression (as loving concern).
SL3 would then entail the combined two-way interaction with respect to both aspects.
Here the last barriers to active radial involvement break down. It other words, the nondual contemplative vision finds its fullest active expression through creative endeavour in the world.
So primacy is given to no particular expression of reality (as all are equally meaningful when placed in their true spiritual context).
Thus for example the person who initially sought spiritual knowledge through scientific understanding of the ultimate nature of reality, is finally enabled to fully incorporate this with spiritual devotion through love and compassion for all sentient beings (representing the true spiritual summit of human artistic expression).
The most important development however through these final radial stages is a truly spiritually refined moral capacity which is volitional (in the ardent desire to realise one's true nature as Spirit). This is indirectly expressed through the proper balancing of all distinct phenomenal expressions so as to better serve the authentic prompting of Spirit (i.e. without ego-centredness).
So in the most general sense, radial morality is defined as the totally committed attempt to enable all phenomenal involvement in reality serve as an appropriate expression of nondual Spirit.
Where this is the case, contemplation continually leads to the wider creative enhancement of (dual) practical activities; such activities in turn lead to a deeper intensification of (nondual) contemplative awareness.
So finally once more we have the mystical counterpart to the natural stage of earlier development with the differentiation of the mental self. So now by fully detaching from phenomena (in a possessive manner) one is now likewise able to fully identify with them (in an appropriate non-attached manner).
So with the complete unfolding of Radial 3 all one's energy in physical, emotional and mental terms is available for the true task of service (i.e. active transformation of the world in a spiritual manner).
Q As I understand it you have been dealing here with the radial differentiation of structures that unfold in a sequential manner. Presumably however such (differentiated) structures would then need to be re-integrated in nondual terms. So is there another important aspect to this development?
PC This indeed is an excellent observation the clarification of which may help to better explain why in fact it is very difficult to move fully from contemplative to radial development.
Now whereas in earlier development the specialisation of the differentiated and integral aspects of stages unfolds in a somewhat sequential fashion, both aspects now radially unfold in an interpenetrating manner.
However this creates a difficulty which may not be immediately apparent.
As we have seen whereas in differentiated terms, dualistic separation commences with the diagonal poles before moving to vertical and horizontal, in an integral manner the process is reversed where reconciliation first takes place with respect to the horizontal before eventually including vertical and diagonal poles.
Therefore at the radial stages - where by definition considerable interpenetration of both aspects is required - though the diagonal poles are first to differentiate (Radial 1), re-integration of these is the most difficult (being last in the integral sequence).
Now because however horizontal, vertical and diagonal are ultimately interdependent, this thereby facilitates a certain degree of interpenetration at Radial 1.
However there are good reasons for believing that the dynamic of interaction generally would not be sufficient to accelerate development on to the next radial stage (i.e. Radial 2).
Therefore where development is characterised by a strong contemplative orientation, full radial development is very unlikely to unfold.
This also implies that when someone can get some momentum going - as it were - with respect to radial development that it is then likely to accelerate very rapidly into the more advanced stages. This path will tend to be associated with personalities that have been able to maintain a better balance as between activity and contemplation throughout development.
So there is a very delicate balance to be maintained for those destined to achieve full radial development. They must be able to break with dualistic attachment and soar as it were into the spiritual stratosphere. However they must equally be able to maintain sufficient grounding in matter if they are to subsequently integrate it fully with Spirit.
Q Is that it? Is there any stage after Radial 3?
PC This is an interesting question. In a certain sense there can be a definite change in emphasis with respect to the mystical expression of reality later in life though I would not define it as a new stage.
So far you may notice that I have defined the radial stages as the progressive movement away from merely contemplative awareness of reality to full active creative participation in this reality.
Now such development - when it occurs - usually relates to the middle and even later years of life.
In the natural course of affairs as one gets older, a diminishment in powers - physical and mental - can take place, often exacerbated through illness and suffering of various kinds.
This will tend to set limits on active expressions of the Spirit. Thus I would see the final phase of Radial Reality in many cases as a movement back to the more purely contemplative expression of the Spirit (as an appropriate preparation for death). However this may vary considerably as some indeed can still remain physically very energetic (even at an advanced age).
Q Can you comment briefly on reincarnation? It seems that here we have a deep cultural divide as between Eastern and Western traditions. Can reincarnation really make sense to someone raised in Western spiritual traditions?
PC Yes! there is a big problem here and certainly I do not find it acceptable to incorporate notions on involution that are culturally dependent on certain Eastern traditions in any theory of development that is meant to have a universal application.
However to some extent it is a matter of perspective. My own roots are in the Christian tradition. Strangely though Christians do not subscribe to reincarnation, yet the teaching of the tradition directly implies such a notion.
Strictly speaking a Christian is one who is born again as Christ realising the need for the same universal mystical role of redemption for all mankind.
Therefore the potential for realisation of one's true nature as God (in the discovery of one's essential being) is open to every human being that is born (and indeed ultimately all living creatures). And everything in creation is living!
In this sense God (i.e. ultimate Spirit) is continually reincarnated in creation in all that lives. So in this sense I would be a firm believer in reincarnation.
However I would part company on what I would see as more fanciful notions where reincarnation is given a very selective interpretation.
Thus if I live a good life developing in the realisation of Spirit, I do not believe that I come back as it were at some future date to take up where I left off (in a previous life).
We have to remember that ultimately a human life has no meaning out of context of other human lives (and indeed all creation)!
So if creation - in the interaction of the one with the many and the many with one - advances in spiritual realisation, well then it is true that someone born in future generations will thereby inherit a higher level of cultural spiritual awareness.
Therefore although I am not reincarnated in any limited manner as such i.e. as continuing a past life, from a universal perspective I - and of course everyone - is reincarnated in all living creatures than exist, in that the same Spirit is always being made manifest in the World.
It is even a great consolation to believe this. Time is short and we all must die without seemingly in many ways realising our hopes and dreams.
However these same dreams will be reborn in others. Tomorrow a new person will feel that love, have that revelation and experience that meaning that seemingly eluded us in our own lives. No! that person is really you, and really I experiencing on behalf of you and I (in a manifestation of the same Spirit that we all truly are!)
Q What are your final thoughts on Radial Reality?
PC Remember that we all participate in Radial Reality though often - through insufficient development of various structures - in a somewhat attenuated manner.
So properly understood, Radial Reality represents but an enhanced expression of the life shared by all.
Also I would caution against unduly idealistic representations.
Even the greatest mystics are subject to limitation and prejudice. So perfection can never be obtained in any absolute sense. However what is remarkable in the lives of its greatest proponents is the unrelenting attempt to continually realise true freedom of Spirit.
Thus the the path to spiritual freedom and truly creative involvement in affairs entails overcoming the restricted perspective on life whereby everything is defined with respect to the self-centred-ego.
Only when one seeks to define the self in terms of the Spirit (which is universal) can true peace and freedom be enjoyed.