Space and Time (1)

Analytic Interpretation of Space and Time

Q I want to turn to the important topic of the dimensions of space and time. You believe that holistic mathematical interpretation is especially relevant here in integral terms.

However can you first discuss this matter in an analytic context?
Why are there - as conventionally understood - four dimensions (3 of space and 1 of time)?

PC  4 has a special unique significance, which therefore fits it as the basis for this fundamental structuring of reality.

We have distinguished the three fundamental mathematical operations of addition (and subtraction), multiplication (and division) and powers (and roots). These are associated in holistic terms with horizontal, vertical and diagonal polarities respectively.

In horizontal terms i.e. addition, 2 + 2 = 4.

Likewise in vertical terms i.e. multiplication, 2 * 2 = 4

Finally in diagonal terms i.e. when raised to the power of 2, 22 = 4

So 4 in this sense is the number which is invariant with respect to successive transformations of 2 (in relation to 2) both in horizontal, vertical and diagonal terms.

In holistic terms therefore 4 is invariant with respect to successive dualistic transformations of twoness in horizontal, vertical and diagonal terms.

Perhaps it may help to appreciate this by considering a square. The (two) end points of opposite corners can be connected in a horizontal, vertical and diagonal fashion.
Furthermore this can be done in two ways in each case i.e. we can join these end points with two horizontal, two vertical and two diagonal lines respectively.

Now the asymmetrical interpretation of space and time, i.e. 3-dimensional space and 1-dimensional time is a necessary consequence of linear understanding.

With linear interpretation there is an attempt to separate as it were spatial objects (which are measured in 3-dimensional quantitative terms) from a qualitative dimensional background of time (which then can be given an indirect quantitative measurement).

Remember that the line is literally one-dimensional. Therefore the linear (one-dimensional) nature of time refers to the belief that it has one direction only (i.e. forward).

So from the linear perspective, all object phenomena are 3-dimensional in space (with length, breadth and height characteristics) and 1-dimensional in time (i.e. evolve in a forward direction).

This view of physical reality is supported by psychological interpretation, which attempts to rigidly separate perceptions from concepts. So in direct terms the spatial characteristics of object phenomena correspond with (rigid) perceptions whereas the time characteristic is thereby associated with their corresponding (rigid) concept providing a background context for related phenomena.

Q However you believe that there are severe limitations with this interpretation?

PC Yes! Firstly it is quite unbalanced to continuously interpret space as 3-dimensional and time as 1-dimensional when the reverse is also the case.

For example let us imagine a large skyscraper building. Now we could of course measure the length width and height of the building in spatial terms (say in metres).

However we could equally express these distances as time measurements (say in seconds). For example we could attempt to measure the height by the time it takes an elevator travelling at a constant speed to move between floors.

We could then likewise measure the time it would then take to traverse the length and width of the building (at this speed).

The psychological implications associated with this alternative interpretation, relate to the fact that observed phenomena in experience require the interaction of both sense and mental aspects.

The conventional belief that objects are 3-dimensional in spatial terms arises from the mistaken assumption that they are already "out there" and registered by the senses.

However in truth their recognition requires both mental (cognitive) and sense (affective) interaction.

Thus when we concentrate directly on the alternative "contribution" of mind, objects are now also 3-dimensional in time and 1-dimensional in space.

So the mental perception (as 3-dimensional time) is formed against the sense concept (as 1-dimensional space). And 1-dimensional space in this context simply means that events move (solely) forward in space.

Because in dynamic interactive terms the senses interact with (cognitive) mind and (cognitive) mind with the senses, then to view relationships in linear asymmetrical terms we must fix the sense experience of (quantitative) phenomenal objects against a general mental recognition of a (qualitative) dimension.

Or alternatively we must fix the mental experience of (quantitative) objects against the general sense recognition of a corresponding (qualitative) dimension.

So in the former case we get the conventional interpretation of dimensions (3-space and 1-time).

In the latter case we get an alternative - and equally valid - interpretation of dimensions (3-time and 1-space).

Indeed we could express these dimensions in both space and time using the speed of light.

So we could measure the distances (length, breadth and height) either in a conventional spatial manner or alternatively as the time it would take light to traverse each of these distances.

However ultimately these dual asymmetrical interpretations (as analytic) find their true meaning in an appropriate integral context (where space and time aspects are appreciated as fully complementary).

Q This all sounds very unusual though I have to admit quite logical for if space and time are indeed ultimately complementary (which I accept is true) then this would raise serious questions regarding the conventional unbalanced emphasis in favour of space (at the analytical level). So I can see how your more subtle (bi-directional) asymmetrical approach would be more consistent with an integral interpretation.

However it makes me wonder why such important observations are seemingly "missed" by the scientific community!

PC Again it is a matter of context. Conventional science has no integral notion of dimensions. Therefore it is not concerned with inconsistency as regards the present asymmetrical analytic formulation with respect to integral notions.

Q Are there other deficiencies with the conventional analytic formulation (i.e. 3 -space dimensions and 1-time)?

PC There are a number of such deficiencies.

Firstly, the conventional formulation does not properly distinguish as between (exterior) physical and - relatively - (interior) psychological interpretations.

Secondly, there is no proper recognition of the notion of dimension appropriate to unconscious understanding.

Suffice it to say at this stage that the directly conscious (local) and the indirectly conscious archetypal interpretation of a phenomenon (i.e. as expression of unconscious meaning) take place with respect to distinctive notions of space and time.

Thirdly, conventional science does not distinguish as between the affective personal and the cognitive impersonal experience of an object phenomenon. This again requires distinctive notions of space and time.

So with our integral interpretations (Integral 1, Integral 2 and Integral 3) we see how each of these problems is solved. Finally with radial interpretations we are then able to suggest how asymmetrical can be properly incorporated with integral notions.

Integral Interpretations of Space and Time (Integral 1)


Integral interpretations are based on dynamic symmetrical understanding that - remarkably - correspond directly with the holistic mathematical interpretation of dimensions.

To appreciate this, I will again use this simple illustration, which has however important consequences.

As measured in conventional terms it takes about 8 minutes for the light of the Sun to reach me here on Earth.

However this conceals the fact that space and time measurements are always strictly relative.

Now if we fix the frame of reference with the Sun then its light will strike me 8 minutes later. So in this context, I am 8 minutes forward in time (with respect to the Sun).

However if we alternatively fix the frame of reference with the self , then we can infer that the light from the Sun was emitted eight minutes before, so that in this context I stand eight minutes backward in time (with respect to the Sun).

Therefore when we consider both reference frames as interdependent (i.e. Sun and self on Earth) then movements in time (and also space) are always relative with a merely arbitrary interpretation.

So relative to each other the distance as between both objects is 8 minutes forward or 8 minutes backward in time (depending on context).

Likewise relative to each other the distance between both objects is 90 million miles forward or 90 million miles backward in space respectively.

Thus we can see that conventional absolute notions of distance (in both space and time) arise from an arbitrary fixing of polar frames of reference (where they are considered independently of each other).

The interesting implication of all this is that for the Universe as a whole, in an integral context - where reference frames are interdependent - space and time has a merely secondary paradoxical meaning (with opposite directions cancelling out). In other words from this context, the Universe exists in a nondual present moment that is continually renewed.

All this is deeply relevant in understanding to the relationship as between exterior (physical) and interior (psychological) notions of space and time.

To measure space or time in exterior terms, once again we arbitrarily fix the polar frame of reference.

Again - in relation to our illustration - if I fix the frame of reference with the Sun as (exterior) pole its light will travel 90 ml. miles (approx) to reach me (as interior) pole eight minutes later.

So - in terms of this reference frame - the Sun is 8 minutes forward in time (with respect to the self).

Alternatively we could say that the Sun is 90 ml. forward in space (with respect to the self).

If we now fix the frame of reference with the self as (interior), then the self is now 8 minutes forward in time with respect to the Sun (as exterior pole). Equally the self is 90 ml. miles forward in space (with respect to the Sun).

Thus a consistent absolute measurement of distance (both in temporal and spatial terms) emerges in the context of both reference frames (as independent).

However when we now attempt to view both frames as interdependent, deep paradox results. For what is forward movement with respect to one frame is - relatively - backward movement with respect to the other (and vice versa).

Therefore if the Sun is 8 minutes forward in time (with respect to the self), then the self is - relatively - eight minutes backward in time (with respect to the Sun).

Likewise - in reverse - if the self is 8 minutes forward in time (with respect to the Sun) then the Sun is thereby - relatively - 8 minutes backward in time (with respect to the self).

Alternatively we could express these circular paradoxical dynamics with respect to distance in terms of space.

Thus if the Sun is 90 million miles forward in space (with respect to the self), then the self is thereby - relatively - 90 million miles backward in space (with respect to the Sun).

Likewise from the alternative perspective, if the self is 90 million miles forward in space (with respect to the Sun), then the Sun is thereby 90 million backward in space (with respect to the self).

Thus absolute notions of distance (in terms of space and time) result from using independent polar reference frames; relative paradoxical notions result from viewing these polar reference frames as interdependent.

Whereas the analytic notions relate to the interpretation of independent reference frames, integral notions of both space and time are based - by contrast - on interdependent reference frames.

Holistic Mathematical Notion of Dimension

Q You maintain that integral notions of space and time are precisely related to the mathematical notion of dimension (when given the appropriate holistic formulation).

If this is true then it certainly represents perhaps the most fundamental of all structures.

Can you explain how you have arrived at this important finding?

PC In mathematics, the dimension is referred to as the power of the number (i.e. as exponent or index).

Thus if I write x2 , x represents a number that is expressed in a two-dimensional manner (i.e. raised to the power of 2).

Now to obtain the (reduced) linear expression of this number i.e. to the power of 1, we obtain the square root. So if x2 = 12 then x1 = + 1 or – 1.

Now the notion of dimension (with respect to space and time) that I have illustrated above - which characterises H1 (subtle) - is directly related to the holistic mathematical interpretation of two dimensions (expressed in structural terms in a reduced linear manner).

So whereas in holistic mathematical terms, the structure of H0 is - quite literally - of a one-dimensional (linear) nature, the structure of H1 (subtle) is two-dimensional.

In other words when we express the structure of H1 in a necessarily reduced linear manner, it has both positive (+) and negative (-) polarities of form (that are complementary).

Q So how does this apply to the interpretation of space and time at H1?

PC As we have seen from our illustration, from an integral perspective (where opposite poles are viewed as interdependent) the very notion of distance is rendered circular and paradoxical. Thus with respect to both poles, all measurements of distance are - relatively - both forward and backward in terms of each other. Equally forward and backward can be expressed - in direct mathematical terms - as positive and negative.

Therefore in integral terms all measurements of distance in space and time have both positive (+) and negative (-) aspects which are purely relative.

In this respect therefore we can say that space is two-dimensional with - when expressed in reduced linear terms - both positive and negative aspects.

Likewise time is two-dimensional (with both positive and negative aspects).

So crucially we now move from an asymmetrical treatment of space and time (e.g. where space is 3-dimensional and time 1-dimensional) to a dynamic symmetrical interpretation (where both space and time are 2-dimensional).

Furthermore - whereas in the analytic asymmetrical interpretation all the dimensions are treated as positive - from an integral symmetrical perspective, they have complementary positive and negative aspects.

This complementarity in turn paves the way for the integration of both the physical and psychological understanding of space and time.

Q You refer to the structural interpretation of space and time at H1 (i.e. with positive and negative aspects) as being in reduced linear terms. What is the unreduced interpretation?

PC In dynamic terms, structures (as form) are associated with states (as emptiness). In a direct sense the experience of the nondual spiritual state at H1 represents the unreduced interpretation.

So to move from dual structure (as form) to a nondual state (as emptiness) we must first appreciate the paradoxical nature of this structure. This then serves as the means of abandoning attachment to (rigid) dualistic notions of form so as to embrace nondual spiritual awareness as emptiness.

However the process - as always - is two-way. Therefore the development of pure nondual awareness as a state is the very means of increasing appreciation of circular paradox at a reduced linear level.

Therefore at H1, the paradoxical appreciation of direction with respect to both space and time (as phenomenal structure) serves to lessen attachment to absolute notions of distance (or duration). In this way we learn to embrace the nondual present moment (as state). This in turn increases appreciation of the merely relative (i.e. paradoxical) notions of space and time at the reduced linear level of structural interpretation.

Complementarity of Physical and Psychological Aspects

Q Can you now demonstrate how the physical and psychological interpretation of space and time are complementary at H1?

PC Objects - that are identified with respect to space and time - are mediated psychologically through (particular) perceptions.

Dimensions in direct terms (again with respect to space and time) are mediated psychologically through (general) concepts.

Clearly in dynamic terms, there is a necessary interpenetration of (physical) objects with corresponding dimensions and - in reverse manner - (physical) dimensions with corresponding objects. However the nature of relationship between both aspects (i.e. objects and dimensions) is very subtle.

It is only properly understood in the context of the "higher" levels of understanding and then fully disentangled with the completion of the "highest" stage i.e. H3.

Again from the psychological perspective, objects (with respect to both space and time) and dimensions (to which these objects are related) are mediated through the interaction of perceptions and concepts respectively.

In this way the experience of space and time (with respect to both objects and dimensions) always has both physical and psychological aspects (which are complementary).

In dynamic terms we can only posit an object phenomenon in space or time (in a physical manner) by negating its corresponding perception (in psychological fashion).

In reverse manner we can only posit a perception in space and time (in a psychological manner) by negating its corresponding object (in physical fashion).

Therefore the physical and psychological aspects of objects in space or time are dynamically complementary i.e. positive and negative with respect to each other.

Likewise we can only posit a dimension of space or time (in a physical manner) by negating the corresponding concept (in psychological terms).

Again in reverse manner we can only posit a concept of space and time (in a psychological manner) by negating the corresponding dimension of space or time (in physical terms).

Therefore the physical and psychological aspects of dimensions of space and time are also dynamically complementary i.e. positive and negative with respect to each other.

Q Does the integral interpretation of space and time have any phenomenal identity?

PC Strictly speaking no! However this integral interpretation necessarily interacts with the analytic (asymmetrical) approach. Therefore in this indirect sense it has a phenomenal meaning.

The integral interpretation therefore properly relates to the manner through which dynamic switching as between physical and psychological aspects, takes place. This is in striking contrast to the understanding of static (dualistic) phenomena, that can be identified independently in either physical or psychological terms.

Space and Time (Sub-levels of H1)


Q Let us now deal with the sub-levels of H1 so as to get a better interpretation of space and time. Can you briefly indicate the kind of integral understanding that typifies the three sub-levels.

PC The first sub-level (SL1) relates to concrete type understanding.

In physical terms this relates to phenomenal objects which are now increasingly understood in complementary two-way fashion (with respect to both space and time).

In a corresponding psychological manner it relates to perceptions which are equally understood in the same dynamic two-way fashion.

And in dynamic terms we posit the physical aspect (as object) by negating the psychological aspect (as perception); equally we posit the psychological aspect (as perception) by negating the physical aspect (as object).

Thus again physical and psychological aspects are complementary. The positive and negative (+ and -) aspects of the physical object thereby correspond to the negative and positive (- and +) aspects respectively of the psychological perception. Likewise the positive and negative (+ and -) aspects of the psychological perception correspond to the negative and positive (- and +) aspects respectively of the physical object.

Q What do you mean exactly when you say that all objects (and all perceptions) now have positive and negative directions?

PC In linear analytic terms (which typifies understanding of the rational middle level of H0) objects (and perceptions) have only one direction.

In other words phenomena are treated as if they exist independently of mind.

Though the mind is of course recognised as necessary to register a phenomenon, it is considered to be neutral with respect to the object, thus creating the illusion that it has an independent existence (that is unchanged through interaction with mind).

Therefore from the physical perspective, the phenomenon - as object - is understood to have a merely positive existence. In other words the object is literally posited in experience and assumed to move unambiguously forward in one direction with respect to space and time.

From the psychological perspective the phenomenon - as perception - is understood likewise to have a merely positive existence (i.e. independent of matter).

Then the crucial assumption of double correspondence is made.

Thus from one perspective, the (physical) object is assumed to directly correspond with the (psychological) perception; from the other perspective, the (psychological) perception is assumed to correspond directly with the (physical) object.

Thus a merely linear one-dimensional (i.e. one-directional) positive interpretation that moves forward in space and time, is given of the event with no distinction as between physical and psychological aspects.

However from the perspective of H1, interpretation is much subtler where physical and psychological aspects are considered in a dynamic complementary manner.

Here the (exterior) phenomenon, as physical object, is in dynamic relationship to (interior) mind as psychological perception; likewise in reverse manner, the (interior) perception, as psychological, is in dynamic relationship to the (exterior) object as physical.

Thus to take an object - say a computer - we posit this phenomenon in exterior physical terms by negating the psychological perception (of computer) in an interior manner.

In this way the computer - as object - has both a positive (physical) and negative (psychological) direction in space and time.

However we equally posit the perception (of computer) as psychological, by negating the computer object (in physical terms).

In this way the computer - as perception - has likewise both a positive (psychological) and negative (physical) direction in space and time.

When we attempt to relate these two interpretations (as interdependent) deep paradox results (with positive and negative directions cancelling out). This leads to the realisation of the nondual nature of the "object" existing in the present moment.

So in terms of the concrete integral understanding of SL1 (of H1) every phenomenon (in physical and psychological terms) has both a positive and negative direction in space and time.

Q Are you saying that every phenomenon therefore moves simultaneously in opposite directions (in both space and time)?

PC Yes! From this integral perspective that is what is entailed. Of course in dualistic terms it is not possible to understand a phenomenon simultaneously moving in both directions. But that is the very point. The understanding of such a relationship is nondual and directly grasped in spiritual intuitive rather than rational terms.

Thus the simple intuitive recognition of the present existence of the "phenomenon" can only be expressed in (reduced) rational terms in a circular paradoxical fashion.

However it is important to preserve both meanings - dual and nondual - as they continually interact in experience.

Therefore in terms of structure - expressed in reduced rational terms - at H1, every phenomenon is bi-directional (i.e. with positive and negative directions) in space and time.

As a state this leads to the nondual awareness of the present existence (of every "phenomenon"). This of course implies that integral must necessarily interpenetrate with analytic understanding, thus enabling a phenomenon to maintain a certain rigid identity.


Q Can we now move on to SL2. What characterises integral appreciation at this level?

PC The sub-level SL2 (of H1) relates to more formalised understanding.

From a physical perspective we are now considering the universal dimensional context in space or time (to which objects are related). From a corresponding psychological perspective we are considering the general conceptual context in space or time (to which perceptual phenomena are related).

Again in the integral understanding of this level, we can only posit dimensions physically (in exterior terms) by dynamically negating corresponding concepts psychologically (in an interior fashion).

Likewise we can only posit concepts psychologically (in interior terms) by dynamically negating corresponding dimensions (in an exterior manner).

Thus each dimension (with respect to space or time) has a positive and negative direction (in a physical context); likewise each concept (again with respect to space or time) has a positive and negative direction (in psychological terms).

So (physical) dimensions and (psychological) concepts are complementary and defined in a bi-directional fashion.

Q What do you exactly mean when you say that a concept is the psychological counterpart of a dimension?

PC I will continue here with the same illustration as before.

We have seen that a computer is an object (in physical terms) with an associated perception (that is psychological).

Now this specific object only finds meaning in the context of a general physical background that applies to all such objects. In psychological terms this implies that the perception of  "a computer" only finds meaning in the context of the general concept of "computer".

However this raises a very interesting issue as each concept relates to a unique dimension (embracing all objects within its class).

Therefore - properly understood - it is inaccurate in conventional terms to consider dimensions in a homogeneous manner as applying universally to all objects.

The conventional interpretation of space and time reflects - in this context - therefore the reduction of (unique) specific to (collective) general notions.

So to sum up the integral dynamics are somewhat similar at the formal stage (SL2) to the earlier concrete stage (SL1). In the former case we consider the dynamic two-way interaction of objects and perceptions (with respect to given dimensions) where both aspects are complementary.

In the latter case we consider the dynamic two-way interaction of dimensions and concepts (with respect to given objects) where both aspects are again complementary.

This leads to a universal global type appreciation of relationships (in structural terms) that are dynamically associated with a purer more holistic quality of nondual awareness (as state).


Q Can you now briefly deal with the integral perspective of the third sub-level of H1?

PC Just as we have a vision-logic stage at H0 (corresponding to the centaur) equally we have a vision-logic stage at H1 (which for convenience I simply refer to as the vision stage).

This vision stage constitutes the third sub-level (SL3) of H1. It is characterised by considerable interaction as between the - earlier - concrete and formal stages.

This leads to a considerable deepening in nondual appreciation (due to keener paradoxical appreciation of horizontal polarities).

However a major problem still remains.

Though significant bi-directional development with respect to both objects (perceptions) and dimensions (concepts) takes place at H1, the actual relationship between both remains somewhat confused.

So far, experience has been defined in a "real" (i.e. conscious) manner. However to resolve the precise relationship in physical terms as between objects and dimensions (and in psychological terms perceptions and concepts) requires dealing explicitly with both conscious and unconscious interactions.

We will see the fascinating implications for the understanding of space and time with the Integral 2 approach.

Space and Time (Directions of H1)

Q Can you now say a little more about the directions of the sub-levels of H1 and how they affect the interpretation of space and time?

PC Because H1 is defined in terms of complementarity of the horizontal polarities i.e. exterior and interior (and interior and exterior) we have two directions therefore operating with respect to each of its sub-levels.

To put directions into context we need to appreciate that a distinctive type of understanding is associated with each of the quadrants (in this context with Right-Hand and Left-Hand quadrants).

Thus the nature of scientific type interpretation associated as for example with exterior (objective) understanding of reality is quite distinct from existential type meaning associated - by contrast - with interior (subjective) experience.

Of course with pure nondual spiritual awareness both aspects of understanding are fully identified with each other.

However the dynamic process through which this reconciliation of opposite quadrants unfolds initially entails a degree of imbalance.

Therefore starting from the perspective where opposite poles (exterior and interior) are dualistically differentiated, there are two ways of attempting to achieve subsequent integration.

  • We can start with objective type meaning and attempt to reconcile the opposite interior pole with it from this perspective (of objective meaning).
  • We can start with subjective meaning and attempt to reconcile the opposite exterior pole with it from this alternative perspective (of subjective meaning).
However because a degree of rigid dualistic attachment is already present in understanding at H1, this means that neither approach can be fully successful in terms of reconciling opposites (which entails pure nondual appreciation).

Thus when we start from the first perspective (i.e. exterior), though a substantial recognition of its interdependence with the opposite pole may be evident, a degree of phenomenal attachment to the exterior aspect is still inevitable.

Understanding is therefore biased towards a merely physical appreciation of the paradoxical relativity of space and time.

Thus at SL1, one begins to appreciate the bi-directional nature of (physical) objects with respect to space and time.

At SL2 one begins to likewise appreciate in physical terms the bi-directional dimensional nature of space and time (with respect to specific objects).

However because rigid attachment still pertains to this subtle appreciation of the relativity of physical objects, this initially sets barriers on the ability to properly switch to the corresponding interior perspective (of direct subjective meaning).

Mirror Stages

Q How is this problem resolved?

PC This is where mirror stages are relevant. Because rigid attachment always reflects an undue emphasis on the positive direction in experience, its resolution requires corresponding negation (which in mystical terms is referred to as purgation or purification).

Though initially very painful, this enables the decisive switch to the opposite perspective based directly on psychological dynamics relating to interior existential meaning.

Thus while the directions are unfolding through the higher stages with a view to the full relativising of opposite poles, mirror stages as the dynamic negation of posited phenomena, are necessary. These enable the switch as between opposite directions thus causing the perspective of understanding to be fundamentally altered.

So following appropriate mirror development, one now can attempt to reconcile the exterior with the interior pole (this time from the perspective of interior meaning).

At SL1 this thereby enables the bi-directional appreciation of perceptual phenomena in psychological terms (i.e. with respect to inner space and time).

At SL2 it enables the deeper more general bi-directional appreciation of universal concepts as the psychological aspect of dimensions of space and time (to which perceptions are related).

The vision stage (SL3) then attempts reconciliation - insofar as is possible – at this level (H1) of both exterior and interior aspects with respect to both objects (and associated perceptions) and dimensions (and associated concepts).

This leads to the most contemplative state yet experienced. However it is hindered by the fact that conscious and unconscious dynamics are still - to a degree - confused, requiring development at the "higher" level of H2.

Space and Time (Primary Modes of H1)

Q What about the primary modes? How do they affect the experience of space and time?

PC Again the three primary modes are cognitive, affective and volitional respectively.

Though experience at the "higher" levels necessarily entails an ever-developing state of nondual spiritual awareness, cognitive appreciation - in appropriate reduced bi-directional form - necessarily also takes place.

This in turn provides the basis for the intellectual interpretation of the paradoxical structures of these levels.

The affective mode relates to a more personalised experience where the spiritual archetypal nature of a phenomenon co-exists with its rigid local experience.

This leads to a more refined spiritual type of sensibility (and sensitivity) where phenomena are increasingly seen as mirrors of the divine Spirit (as their inherent nature).

The volitional mode is most directly spiritual (in the desire for authentic nondual meaning). However indirectly it will be necessarily expressed, to a degree, in terms of the other primary modes.

At SL1 in cognitive terms the paradoxical intellectual appreciation of object (and perceptual) relationships in space and time is largely in specific concrete terms.

In an affective manner, phenomena are understood in supersensory fashion (where their unique archetypal nature is increasingly radiated through concrete symbols).

At SL2 the paradoxical cognitive appreciation is much more deeply universal and formal relating to the overall dimensional (and conceptual) nature of space and time.

In affective terms, phenomena are likewise understood in a more holistic spiritual refined manner now largely denuded of rigid sense recognition.

At SL3 cognitive and affective are reconciled - insofar as is possible at this level - leading to the most contemplative state yet attained of all reality existing in the continual present moment.

However this state (as with "the dark night of the soul") can co-exist with very deep unresolved conflicts reflecting confusion of conscious and unconscious experiential dynamics.

The resolution of this conflict requires that development continue into H2.

Significance of Integral 1 Interpretation of Space and Time

Stages of Development

Q Can you now indicate the significance of this integral approach to space and time?

PC Firstly it has special relevance for the interpretation of the stages of development.

When we look at development from the standard analytic perspective, it appears to unfold in an unambiguous asymmetric manner. This implies in turn a merely one-directional interpretation of space and time (i.e. where stages move forward from lower to higher).

However such interpretation breaks down with integral appreciation.

Here both space and time are defined in a bi-directional complementary manner.

Therefore if the exterior (physical) aspect of a stage is posited as moving forward, then the interior (psychological) aspect is thereby negated thus moving - relatively - backwards in space and time.

Likewise from the alternative perspective if the interior (psychological) aspect of a stage is now posited as moving forward, then the exterior (physical) aspect is thereby negated thus moving - relatively - backwards in space and time.

Put another way, stages of selfhood and stages of reality dynamically unfold in opposite directions from each other (in integral terms).

Thus the asymmetric unfolding of stages strictly has no meaning from a proper integral perspective.

Rather all stages relatively have bi-directional exterior and interior paradoxical linear expressions (as phenomenal structure) that continually emanate from a nondual spiritual centre (as state).

Indeed the very purpose of an integral approach - as I define it - is to demonstrate how to move away in a well-defined manner from limited asymmetric type understanding.


This integral appreciation of space and time is also very relevant in terms of paranormal type phenomena and spiritual gifts (that are often associated with H1).

With integral understanding there is an increasingly close relationship as between an emerging nondual spiritual state and physical and psychological aspects of understanding that are complementary.

This is the very basis for synchronous activity and meaningful coincidence - where by definition - opposite polarities (exterior and interior) literally coincide in experience.

In conventional terms physical events are understood as separate (and thereby independent of the self).

However this makes little sense from an integral perspective where opposite poles are complementary.

Therefore from this perspective (impersonal) physical events tend to be registered by mind when a (personal) psychological meaning for the self is especially evident. And because the very process of moving to deeper nondual awareness is based on the keen appreciation of complementarity of physical and psychological aspects (at a phenomenal level), not surprisingly, such events tend to be imbued with deep spiritual meaning.

Now of course an obvious objection that could be made from the conventional scientific perspective is that the recognition of such events tends to be very selective. However, this is to miss the very point as the integral approach is based on a distinctive logic, so that one tends to register those events in experience where complementarity (of physical and psychological aspects) is particularly marked. This then serves as the very catalyst through which spiritual meaning is released.

From an integral perspective, the (physical) world is not separate but rather complementary and ultimately identical with the self. In this way nature is seen as an intimate friend with which one is in continual dialogue. Then when treated in this manner meaningful coincidences in experience tend to become commonplace.

The inability of conventional science to come to grips with such an important aspect of experience is rooted in a distorted perspective on understanding.

Science can only deal with object phenomena in impersonal terms. However, in truth all such phenomena have personal as well as impersonal aspects (which science does not yet recognise).

Indeed I will be suggesting in the Integral 2 approach how this important issue can be addressed.

Therefore meaningful coincidences relate to an integral bi-directional approach to space and time incorporating physical and psychological aspects which are complementary. Indeed ultimately all phenomenal polarities directly coincide in nondual spiritual awareness.
In this sense nondual reality is truly the experience of total coincidence.

Charismatic Gifts

This integral notion of space and time is also evident in terms of charismatic gifts such as healing.

Everyone becomes wounded to a greater or lesser extent through life and it is important to be able to deal with this in a creative manner.

This is where the integral notion of space and time is especially relevant.

From an integral perspective only the present moment truly exists continually repeated. Therefore from this perspective past events have a purely relative interpretation.

A past event (as objective) has no meaning independent of the (subjective) self.

The relationship between both these aspects is bi-directional and mediated from the present moment. Thus if the event (as objective) is viewed as past (in space and time) then - relatively -  the self (as subjective) is future with respect to the event. In other words as I attempt to interpret this event that objectively has happened in the past, I am thereby now subjectively forward with respect to the event.

For example if the event happened a year ago I am now a year forward in time (as I view the event).

Now if I change the frame of reference, subjectively the event took place a year ago with my objective recollection taking place now a year later i.e. forward in time.

So past and future are merely relative paradoxical expressions of experience that always flows from the present moment.

The implication of this is that the meaning of any event (past or future) can be continually changed through reference to the present spiritual moment.

And this is the basis of all true healing in our lives.

Therefore healing - which is so important in psychological as well as physical terms - is deeply related to an integral notion of space and time (where past and future are understood as merely relative expressions of an underlying spiritual present). People with a special gift for healing implicitly adopt this integral notion.

Relationship with L1 (Mythic)

Q Can you now say something about the complementary relationship with respect to space and time as between H1(subtle) and L1 (mythic)?

PC As we have already seen, a complementary relationship exists as between "higher" and "lower" (and "lower" and "higher") stages in vertical terms.

Therefore the integral structures with respect to space and time at H1 which are understood in a mature manner (with opposite poles both properly differentiated and integrated) complement the same structures at L1 which are understood in a somewhat confused manner.

Thus at L1 a bi-directional structure with respect to space and time does indeed exist. However because opposite horizontal poles i.e. exterior and interior (and interior and exterior) are not yet fully differentiated in experience, they cannot likewise be properly integrated. So therefore they are - to a considerable extent - directly confused with each other.

Once again however it is important to stress that this confused bi-directional (circular) interpretation at L1 necessarily co-exists with the rigid asymmetrical understanding of phenomena relating to successful differentiation of polarities at earlier levels.

So at the time when L1 starts to unfold, considerable (linear) differentiation has already taken place with respect to diagonal and vertical polarities enabling stable phenomenal identification to exist.

Relationship Between Pre and Trans (and Trans and Pre)

Q You maintain that because L1 and H1 (and H1 and L1) are dynamically complementary that we cannot therefore fully distinguish subtle from mythic (and mythic from subtle) understanding. Can you elaborate?

PC Yes! It is important to remember that in experiential terms that we can only attempt to achieve integration (i.e. without confusion) with respect to experience that is still in some measure confused. In other words the very drive for personality integration arises from a lack of integration already present.

This is why we need to maintain in balance two distinctive interpretations of the relationship as between pre and trans (and trans and pre).

Certainly from the discrete perspective (suited to asymmetrical appreciation) pre needs to be distinguished from trans (and trans from pre).

However making such a distinction is much subtler than conventionally assumed.

So we start from the recognition that in dynamic terms - as with all pairs of polar opposites - pre and trans (and trans and pre) are complementary and ultimately identical. We could equally say that the immanent and transcendent (and transcendent and immanent) aspects of development are complementary (and also ultimately identical)!

When development starts (before proper differentiation) pre and trans (and trans and pre) are necessarily related to each other in a highly confused manner.

We therefore cannot meaningfully separate pre from trans (or likewise trans from pre).

Now it is only when proper differentiation of structures starts to take place (at L3) that pre can start to separate from trans (and likewise trans separate from pre).

Therefore from a continuous perspective we have the still highly confused complementarity of pre with trans (and trans with pre) which entails that the "lowest" stage (L3) is continuous with the "highest" (H3).

This in fact explains very adequately - without resort to convoluted bardo involution - why primitive transpersonal experience can flood the earliest prepersonal stage. This is simply due to the fact that pre and trans are still directly complementary (where "lowest" and "highest" stages closely interact in a primitive manner).

It also explains why such transpersonal experience tends to die out as development unfolds, for with the increase in differentiation of structures pre and trans (and trans and pre) are gradually separated from each other. Then with the middle stages they are fully differentiated so that we now have personal development (which is neither pre nor trans).

Now when we look at the relationship between pre and trans (and trans and pre) in a discrete asymmetrical manner two possible hierarchical rankings of stages are possible.

In the first case we start with prepersonal stages i.e. as the confused pre component (of the earliest dynamic interaction of pre with trans) to move asymmetrically from prepersonal to personal to transpersonal stages. So the highest stage here represents the maturest expression of transpersonal understanding (based on the transcendent direction of development).

In the second case we start with transpersonal stages i.e. as the confused trans component of the earliest dynamic interaction of trans with pre) to move asymmetrically from transpersonal to personal to prepersonal stages. So the highest stage here represents the most mature expression of prepersonal understanding (based on the immanent direction of development).

This would relate to deep cleansing of one’s unconscious shadow thus preparing the way for the integration of the Spirit with the Body.

(The former asymmetrical interpretation based on the transcendent direction is suited - in reverse fashion - for integration of the Body with Spirit!)

Thus it is vital to properly distinguish differentiation from integration in development. Secondly it is then necessary to understand both in a bi-directional manner.

Thus I am demonstrating here that the dynamic relationship as between pre and trans (and trans and pre) leads to two equally valid (opposite) asymmetrical interpretations of stages (in differentiated terms).
So again from a dynamic perspective - as with all polar opposites - pre and trans (and trans and pre) are purely relative terms. So what is pre (as defined in terms of the transcendent direction of development) is equally trans (when defined in terms of the opposite immanent direction). Likewise what is trans (as defined in terms of the transcendent) is equally pre (when defined in terms of the immanent direction).

Then the interdependent pairing of these two interpretations enables the circular paradoxical approach that is suited for both top-down and bottom-up integration.

So with respect to mythic (L1) and subtle stages (H1) these are dynamically complementary in vertical two-way fashion.

Nature of Mythic Understanding

Q So what you are saying is that in dynamic terms we cannot conceive of experience at L1 and H1 as discrete stages. Rather there is a complementary relationship between both so that L1 - to a degree - necessarily entails H1 and also that H1 necessarily entails L1.
How then can we distinguish the mythic from the subtle levels?

PC If we look at development in discrete terms then clearly the mythic level of L1 unfolds in space and time before H1.

L1 is then based on the confused bi-directional relationship as between opposite horizontal polarities i.e. exterior and interior (and interior and exterior).

Q Can you illustrate the precise nature of this confusion?

PC In religious practice for example, certain beliefs can be extremely important in mediating spiritual type awareness.

However with mythic appreciation, because bi-directional understanding is not properly differentiated, inevitably there will be a certain confusion of the interior psychological disposition with the corresponding exterior belief. Therefore the spiritual nature of the event is directly collapsed in terms of the corresponding phenomenal interpretation conferring on it a "supernatural" quality.

Subjective experience is therefore misleadingly identified with the literal interpretation of the objective belief giving it a mythic identity.

Mythic type understanding is extremely prevalent in religious interpretation. For example in the Roman Catholic tradition, the doctrine of the Incarnation is conventionally understood as God - literally - sending his own Son into the World.

The Resurrection Of Christ through which all mankind is redeemed is - literally - interpreted as the raising of his (dead) body from the tomb.

The virgin birth requires - literally - that Mary conceives Christ though still a virgin.

Finally the doctrine of Transubstantiation which is proving a major stumbling block to the union of the Roman Catholic and Anglican communities is based on a the belief that in the Eucharist, bread and wine are - literally - transformed into the body and blood of Christ.

Now when L1 is initially unfolding in development, mythic confusion is inevitable as exterior an interior polarities are still necessarily confused.

However because of its dynamic complementarity with H1, temporary access to mature subtle understanding is possible.

Indeed - especially for those destined to develop into the "higher" levels - lucid moments of "higher" transpersonal awareness are especially likely (where for a brief time opposite polarities are capable of mediating an authentic "higher" level of spiritual awareness).

Equally when H1 is initially unfolding these opposite polarities are largely integrated in a mature manner. However again inevitably some degree of confusion will remain (as integration is always of an approximate rather than absolute nature).

So just as there will be temporary peaks from L1 to H1, equally at H1, there will be temporary valleys to L1 (where experience is once again of a mythic nature).

Therefore, though in discrete terms H1 is defined in terms of the more mature (integrated) relationship of complementary horizontal poles, in dynamic terms it inevitably interacts with L1.

Likewise though L1 in discrete terms is defined in terms of the more confused (undifferentiated) relationship of complementary poles, again in dynamic terms it inevitably interacts with H1.

So in practice we can have a wide variety of possible interactions as between mythic and subtle (and subtle and mythic) understanding.

Q Are you saying that it is possible for a mythic society to have genuine experience of the transpersonal?

PC In a qualified sense yes! Especially if such a society achieves a satisfactory degree of development in rational type activities, genuine spiritual awareness can certainly be mediated through mythic symbols (though literal confusion will inevitably remain).

Equally it is certainly possible - and even likely - that those with awareness largely operating at the subtle level, will still in some respects hold on to mythic type understanding. This is especially true if they strive to filter mystical awareness through the conventional beliefs and symbols of the established religious traditions.

It is important to remember that though the middle level of development (L0,H0) does indeed represent a considerable advance in rational type understanding this can lead - especially in our modern culture - to undue specialised differentiation of structures. In this case dynamic interaction with both "higher" and "lower" stages is impeded to a considerable extent as the middle level is complementary with itself (i.e. L0 is complementary with H0).
Thus an undue advance in differentiation would equally represent a reduction in the capacity for true spiritual integration. In this context therefore the (temporary) preservation of mythic type understanding could help to keep alive the desire for the infinite.

Transition of all Stages in Development

Q You seem to be implying that in dynamic terms all stages are in continual transition throughout development. Therefore we have to be very careful in using a term such as prepersonal. Presumably you would maintain that the lowest prepersonal level (L1), as defined in discrete terms, has varying interpretations at each other stage and is only fully developed (when all stages are developed)?

PC Yes! This is an extremely important point.

When a stage initially unfolds it is greatly lacking in the context provided by higher stages.

So for example if we identify the lowest stage (L3) with the unfolding of the most primitive instincts, these necessarily remain throughout development. However as the context widens (and deepens) through higher development the nature of their understanding continually changes. Therefore the "highest" stage H3 - which is dynamically complementary with the "lowest" L3 - is intimately concerned with the final unravelling of unconscious confusion with respect to instinctive behaviour.

However this clearly is a very different type of prepersonal understanding than existed at L3 (as discretely defined).

Thus - in a qualified sense - each stage as discretely defined has a uniquely distinct interpretation when viewed from the perspective of each other stage of development.

Q You are saying therefore for example that the vision-logic of the centaur will be given a very distinct interpretation at the "higher" levels (H1, H2 and H3) and the Radial levels (R!, R2 and R3)?

PC Clearly, as the context in which vision-logic is applied changes, therefore in a sense its interpretation likewise changes in a manner better enabling its integration with more advanced stages.

So while we could validly maintain that its basic structure (in a differentiation manner) does not fundamentally alter, its continuous nature (suited to integration) certainly is transformed.

So once we accept the continuous integration of stages, we must allow for a variety of interpretations where each stage has a unique interpretation at every other stage of development.

Quantum Mechanics

Q Can you illustrate with any physical examples the relationship as between the nature of space and time at H1 and its corresponding confused expression at L1?

PC Quantum mechanics provides an excellent example.

Physicists accept that at the level of the sub-atomic particles, we cannot properly divorce what is observed in an exterior (physical) manner from the interior (psychological) observer.

Here particle interactions are bi-directional in confused circular terms (in space and time).

So matter and anti-matter particle activity is very closely associated at the sub-atomic level.  Put another way matter is not yet sufficiently differentiated (i.e. with exterior and interior poles properly separated) to maintain a stable phenomenal identity.

Therefore though considerable physical energy is generated through such particle interactions it represents a form of confused phenomenal integration with respect to space and time.

Thus in many ways the physical structure of quantum reality (relating to L1) corresponds closely in horizontal terms with the psychological structure of that same level (relating to mythic understanding).

Thus in physical terms a confused from of energy is generated which cannot be properly distinguished from associated phenomenal particles.

In corresponding psychological terms a confused form of spiritual energy is generated which cannot be properly distinguished from associated symbols.

However a very important form of vertical complementarity is also involved.

Therefore it requires the understanding of the complementary mature "higher" level (H1) to properly interpret the findings of the corresponding confused "lower" level (L1).

Thus from the physical perspective the refined bi-directional understanding of H1 is necessary to provide an appropriate integral context to interpret fundamental quantum mechanical relationships. In other words quantum relationships can thereby be explained in an intuitively satisfying philosophical manner.

Of course in conventional terms where the analytic understanding of H0 dominates, interpretation of the behaviour of sub-atomic realms appears strongly counter-intuitive!

Likewise it requires the refined bi-directional subtle interpretation of H1 to provide an appropriate integral context to interpret the mythical type understanding of L1.

In other words the very structure of space and time (based on complementary interaction) with respect to both H1 and L1 is very distinct from the corresponding asymmetrical structure of H0.

Thus in the most fundamental sense each major level of the Spectrum is defined by a unique structural configuration of space and time.

Limitations of Integral 1 Interpretation

Q Finally at this stage can you explain the limitations of the integral structure of space and time at H1 (and L1).

PC In mathematical terms it is based on solely "real" notions corresponding to the direct conscious interpretation of phenomena.

However at a deeper psychological level, we need to consider the manner in which both conscious and unconscious interact in experience. This in turn entails a mathematical interpretation of space and time that incorporates "imaginary" as well as "real" notions (which is the basis of Integral 2 understanding). We will deal with this in the next discussion.