7. The attempt to approach integration through a (linear) asymmetrical approach, leads to considerable inconsistency from an overall perspective. I give here just one evaluation from "The Dynamics of Development" - in relation to the four quadrants - which illustrates this point.
The linear (one-directional) approach is also very evident in Ken's treatment of the four quadrants.
In attempting to define each quadrant in unambiguous terms he himself uses a surprisingly reduced philosophical perspective. Indeed this is a fundamental problem with his general approach. So often he attempts to analyze reality as if it were somehow independent of the interpreting mind. For example in describing his Right-Hand quadrants he says in "The Marriage of Sense and Soul", P. 117;
"All Right-Hand events - all sensorimotor objects and empirical processes and ITs - can be seen with the mononological gaze, with they eye of flesh. You simply look at the rock, the town, the clouds, the mountains, the railroad tracks, the airplane, the flower, the car, the tree. All these Right-Hand objects and "ITs" can be seen by the senses or their extensions (microscopes to telescopes). They all have simple location, you can actually point to most of them".
This is a very emphatic statement of the "myth of the given".
However Ken's description of Right-Hand events is untenable from an experiential perspective.
Objects do not just exist "out there" but always in relationship to the observer.
Thus if I see a rock a bi-directional interaction is involved where the rock is in relation to self (and the self in relation to the rock). The actual perception of the (individual) rock has both exterior and interior aspects (which mutually interact).
Thus identifying the perception solely with the Right-Hand is very one-sided.
Likewise the (individual) perception of "a rock" has no meaning in the absence of the corresponding (collective) concept of "rock". Thus Upper and Lower quadrants are likewise necessarily involved in the experience.
So in dynamic terms all four quadrants are involved in the perception of an object.
We could equally start with Ken's other rigidly defined quadrants and likewise show that in dynamic terms all four quadrants are involved.
There is in fact a basic confusion with his approach. He claims that every holon has exterior and interior aspects (in horizontal terms), and individual and collective aspects (in vertical terms). So by definition a holon belongs to all four quadrants.
However he then tries to compartmentalize these same holons in terms of (horizontal) Right-Hand and Left-Hand, and (vertical) Upper and Lower quadrants.
A rock for example is clearly a holon that dynamically belongs to all quadrants. However Ken would try and identify this holon in static terms with just one quadrant i.e. the Upper Right.
A true integral approach requires much greater subtlety. First of all we accept that a holon does indeed belong to all four quadrants. Therefore in reduced linear terms, we can only identify locations by arbitrarily fixing our frame of reference. We can then consistently define quadrant locations (in relative terms).
By switching our frame of reference, we can give four equally valid quadrant explanations for any experiential event.
These explanations are paradoxical in terms of each other. However, they provide the very basis for an integrated approach.
In other words through balanced paradox, we move from an either/or logic (where quadrants are differentiated) to a both/and logic (where they are integrated).
Thus when we differentiate the quadrants in horizontal terms, an event is either Right-Hand or Left-Hand. (Depending on how we fix our frame of reference, we can give two equally valid asymmetrical interpretations of the event).
However when we integrate these same quadrants (simultaneously using both frames of reference), the event is understood as both Right-Hand and Left-Hand.
In a direct sense these complementary opposites are reconciled through intuitive awareness. However bi-directional paradoxical translation itself greatly facilitates this intuitive awareness.
Ken clearly does not provide an integral interpretation of the quadrants.
Also, insofar as he differentiates the quadrants he does so in a rigid absolute - rather than a balanced relative - manner. Not surprisingly this leads to a considerable amount of inconsistency.
For example perception is associated with the Right and interpretation with the Left. However this makes little sense from a dynamic perspective (where such distinctions have a merely relative meaning).
He then identifies his Right-Hand quadrants in "it" terms as the home of (empirical) science. However, in dynamic terms, scientific perceptions are meaningless in the absence of corresponding conceptual interpretation. So we could equally identify the quadrants in "it" terms as (theoretical) science. As Ken places mental concepts in his Left-Hand quadrants, then the theoretical aspect of science would be Left-Hand, and the empirical, Right-Hand respectively.
Likewise he identifies a value such as compassion with the Left-Hand quadrant. However again in dynamic terms, an (interior) value has no meaning in the absence of an (exterior) objective context. Thus - in dynamic terms - the sight of a suffering child might well be associated with compassion. However in reduced linear terms this has two equally valid interpretations. We could say that the sight of the child (exterior) causes the compassion; equally we could say that compassion (interior) causes one to notice the child.
In other words, in dynamic terms the value cannot be exclusively identified with either quadrant.
There are other obvious inconsistencies. He tries to identify the Right-Hand quadrants with "it" and the Left-Hand with "I" and "We".
As he considers Mathematics to relate to the interior aspect this would be placed in his Left-Hand quadrants.
However mathematics is considered a supreme expression of "it" understanding (though he identifies the Left-Hand as "I" and "We").
Likewise his attempts to identify morality with "We" makes little sense. Morality has certainly a (collective) "We" aspect. However it equally has an individual "I" aspect (as with existential morality).
Morality also has an important "it" aspect. The programmatic approach of the institutionalized churches to moral behavior is based on a strong belief in "objective" morality.
He also identifies beauty with "I" which is very one-sided. There is a strong cultural "We" component to our notions of beauty. Indeed modern marketing and advertising have conditioned aesthetic perspectives to an unhealthy extent.
Beauty clearly also has an "it" aspect where it is identified directly with (exterior) object symbols.
Once again, by definition a holon includes all four quadrants. So as science, mathematics, morality, and beauty are holons, it makes no sense to try and exclusively identify them with just one quadrant. However it requires a dynamic relative treatment to preserve this balance.
Ken then represents the disaster of modernity as the collapse of the Left to the Right. However if we associate the rapid growth of Mathematics with modernity (which he identifies with the Left), this position is not strictly tenable (even in his terms).
The real problem is that he fails to distinguish true interactive from (merely) absolute notions of the relationship between quadrants.
So properly speaking, the disaster of modernity represents the collapse of dynamic notions of Left and Right to (merely) reduced static interpretations (which can be identified with either Left or Right). Indeed in this respect, Ken's attempt to use an analytic approach, as a means of translating integration, is itself a reflection of the true problem of modernity.
Thus because of a lack of a true dynamic approach, he continually comes down in favor of one side of a polarity (when the other is equally valid). From an integral perspective, his rather compartmentalized treatment of the quadrants is very confused, as he reduces dynamic interactions to rigid static interpretation.
It must be remembered that Ken's four quadrant approach deals solely with horizontal and vertical polarities (in an absolute fixed manner).
A more comprehensive approach would also require the inclusion of diagonal polarities leading to an eight sectoral approach. These would then be interpreted in accordance with both the (linear) logic of form and the (circular) logic of emptiness.
Looking more deeply at the manner he identifies his four quadrants I would have further reservations about Ken's treatment. For example, he would identify physiological reactions in the brain as the (exterior) aspect of (interior) thought processes. He is thus treating these in terms of horizontal polarities. However I would see them more accurately described in terms of diagonal polarities (where physical and psychological aspects directly coincide).