Nature of TOEs
TOEs can be used in different ways.
In physics there is considerable excitement regarding String Theory (and more recently M- theory) which some would consider as a potential TOE i.e. a complete explanation of the physical Universe.
However one great limitation of such an approach is that it attempts to view the physical as somehow independent of psychological and spiritual domains.
A merely physical TOE is in fact a misnomer. Indeed it is not strictly possible to have a TOE in this sense for the very reason that physical, psychological and spiritual domains are - in dynamic terms - interdependent.
Current research in physics may well lead to radical new insights suggestive of a more integral view. However the attempt for an absolute final explanation of the physical universe - by its very nature - is ultimately doomed to failure.
Regarding the search for a TOE in terms of a more comprehensive worldview - which properly recognises the various domains - the work of Ken Wilber deserves special mention.
He has developed his own all-quadrant, all-level, all-lines approach which is potentially applicable to a very wide range of disciplines.
However, while recognising the immense value of his contribution, I believe that, in intellectual terms, he continually confuses integration with multi-differentiation. Therefore from an overall perspective I would strongly maintain that his approach suffers from considerable inconsistency.
In terms of my terminology, the quest for a TOE within Physics represents a closed whereas that of Ken Wilber represents a more comprehensive open analytic approach.
However (linear) analytic methods are - by their very nature - not properly suited for the task of successful integration. This requires a more (circular) paradoxical approach which enables the consistent holistic reconciliation of the more partial analytic perspectives.
Again I would distinguish two types of integral approaches.
The more closed version concentrates on establishing - in refined cognitive terms - the ultimate interdependence of all phenomena (without properly recognising their independent aspect).
The more open version concentrates on the more subtle task of establishing the correct balance as between both the independent and interdependent aspects of phenomena (while still operating at a holistic level of understanding).
My own approach over the years has concentrated largely on developing a suitable integral approach to a TOE. In the early years it was somewhat closed. However in recent years it has developed into an open approach (as I define it).
However a justifiable criticism of both integral approaches is that - by their very nature - they do not give adequate recognition to knowledge based directly on analytic understanding (either of the closed or open variety).
So I would define the most comprehensive approach to a TOE as one that fully emphasises both holistic (integrated) and analytic (differentiated) aspects of development.
Radial approaches would be therefore compatible with the detailed (analytic) study of particular areas of enquiry together with maintaining global (holistic) consistency in terms of an overall integral worldview.
Thus the TOE that I propose in this series of articles is designed as an open integral approach.
Though not yet properly radial - when combined with detailed analytic understanding of various disciplines - it has the capacity to become fully radial.