Pre/Trans Issues 5

- Concluding Remarks

This is written to provide further clarity on my recent articles on pre/trans issues.

The purpose of these articles is to draw attention to the need for a new radial approach, which is designed to preserve consistent balance as between differentiated and integral aspects throughout development.

This leads to a considerably enlarged perspective where a distinctive type of intellectual interpretation is associated with every major stage of development.

So for example, rather than one interpretation of the pre/trans fallacy, we now have a wide range of stage interpretations, with each having a certain limited validity within a suitably defined interactive context. 

Furthermore this finding potentially applies to all issues in development thus creating a much more comprehensive and balanced intellectual context for discussion.


The implications of this new approach are very significant.

One special need is the provision of an appropriate scientific framework - based on a transformed appreciation of the nature of mathematics - that is applicable to all development.

Now the radial approach provides the appropriate perspective for the task, for in this context we can see that a uniquely distinctive scientific interpretation of reality (with its own characteristic range of application) is associated with each of the major levels of the Spectrum.

Thus conventional science - based on the analytic type understanding of the middle level of the Spectrum - represents just one such interpretation.

However equally important scientific interpretations - what we might call metaparadigms - are associated with each of the higher and radial levels. These are properly suited for a more integral understanding of reality with distinctive applications to every discipline.

For example this intimately applies to the understanding of mathematics.

Thus when we interpret mathematical symbols appropriately through the refined intuitive light of the higher stages, they acquire an entirely new role as the most precise scientific means possible for the encoding of all transformation processes (e.g. human development).

I refer to this new integral appreciation of mathematical symbols as "Holistic Mathematics" (and the combined interactive use of both analytic and holistic symbols as "Radial Mathematics").

Just as science in conventional terms intimately depends on the invaluable tools provided by the analytic interpretation of mathematical symbols, likewise - when appropriately understood - true integral scientific appreciation of development intimately depends on the corresponding dynamic holistic interpretation of these same symbols.

Quite simply all transformation processes can be potentially encoded through the holistic interpretation of the two numbers (1 and 0).

In this holistic context, 1 can be readily identified with the linear (asymmetric) logic of form (suited for interpretation of the differentiated aspect of development). 0 can be (indirectly) identified with the circular (paradoxical) logic of emptiness (suited for corresponding interpretation of the integral aspect).

Thus as all development processes are characterised by the interaction of both differentiated and integral aspects, in the most fundamental sense these can be encoded through the holistic interpretation of the binary system.

Radial understanding - in its developed form - is the most advanced and radial science (based on the understanding of corresponding radial stages) is concerned with the dynamic interplay of both analytic and holistic aspects.

This allows for appreciation that is analytically very detailed and diverse yet fully consistent from an overall integral perspective.

The truly remarkable feature regarding development is that all levels (and indeed their various sub-stages) can be precisely defined in a holistic (integral) mathematical fashion. Indeed from this scientific perspective the unique dynamic mathematical configuration defines the very nature of each stage.

As this is finding is indeed of the utmost significance I will say a little more about it here.

The ultimate absolute nature of existence is indeed purely spiritual and thereby ineffable. However insofar as appearances are concerned phenomenal reality is always conditioned by opposite poles.

Again in the most fundamental sense we have 3 basic types of polarities that condition all phenomenal relationships (which have a precise holistic mathematical structure relating to the circular notion of number)!

The first type conditions experience within a given level. These are the horizontal polarities and can be expressed in various ways e.g. exterior and interior (and interior and exterior) and are necessary to interpret development in heterarchical terms.

The second type condition experience between given levels in hierarchical fashion.
These polarities can be also expressed in various ways e.g. whole and part (and part and whole).

In identification of these poles there is indeed a similarity with Ken Wilber's four-quadrant approach.
However the critical distinction I would make is that these polar opposites cannot be directly identified with specific phenomena (except in a limited arbitrary context). So Ken Wilber's attempt for example to unambiguously identify "its" with the Right-Hand quadrants has no meaning in dynamic interactive terms. In other words "its" can be belong to either Right or Left-Hand quadrants depending on the relative context.

Also, poles can be defined in two distinctive ways.
So to differentiate meaning we separate poles as independent in (linear) asymmetrical manner.
However for integral meaning we must always - at least implicitly - treat poles as interdependent in (circular) complementary fashion.

So it is this latter integral dimension that is greatly missing from Ken Wilber's treatment of the four quadrants (and indeed other key developmental concepts). Though of course he recognises the ultimate interdependence of these opposite aspects, he provides no satisfactory means of distinguishing the differentiation of quadrants (where poles are separated) from the qualitatively distinctive integral understanding (where they are viewed as complementary).

In other words insofar as he deals with the integration of his quadrants he does so in somewhat reduced terms.

So if we are to use the terminology of holons to describe the nature of phenomenal reality, we must realise that the relationship as between opposite aspects needs to be defined in two ways.

1. a linear (asymmetrical) manner where they can be appropriately differentiated.

2. a circular (complementary) fashion where they can be appropriately integrated.

And in a radial approach these are necessarily interconnected with the precise relationship depending on the stage of development with which they are interpreted.

Therefore though the notion of four quadrants is indeed important, Ken Wilber's approach is considerably marred by a lack of sufficient dynamic interpretation. Despite his best efforts he essentially presents integration as a composite mix of relatively independent quadrants (which once again reduces the process of integration to that of differentiation).

Thus the lack of a satisfactory integral manner of intellectual interpretation with respect to the quadrants (and development concepts generally) remains a huge - as yet unresolved - problem with respect to Ken Wilber's approach.

However for comprehensive appreciation we need a 3rd set of polar distinctions (which are extremely significant).

Thus whereas the horizontal polarities condition polarities within a given level and the vertical between levels respectively (in a relatively separate manner), the diagonal polarities condition experience simultaneously both within and between levels.
These are the most fundamental of all polarities. Because they ultimately represent experience, where (spiritual) states and (phenomenal) structures cannot be properly distinguished, we must preserve both types of explanation throughout development.

The diagonal polarities in their most basic terms relate to form and emptiness (and emptiness and form).

As we have seen, when life begins, both of these poles are completely confused. Form cannot be separated from emptiness and emptiness from form.
However it is equally true with spiritual union that these two aspects are integrated (without separation) insofar as this is possible.

So as a state such union can be expressed as the full integration of both the transcendent and immanent aspects of Spirit.
However equally as a structure, this represents in bodily terms the highest degree of psychophysical integration (entailing both mind and body).
Put another way the integration of the immanent and spiritual aspects in spiritual terms (as state) coincides with the integration of cognitive and affective aspects of personality (as phenomenal structure).

Therefore we always have two ways of expressing the diagonal polarities throughout development.

We can express them (as state) through the transcendent and immanent directions of Spirit.

Equally we can express them in terms of the psychophysical interaction of affective and cognitive aspects of form (in structural terms).

Thus the 3 fundamental poles condition all relationships physical and psychological.

Looked at another way the three sets of polarities provide the appropriate means of interpreting:

1. Stages of self (hood) and stages of reality. These are based directly on application of the dynamic appreciation of the 1st set of horizontal aspects.

2. Stages as states and stages as structures. These are based directly on application of the dynamic appreciation of the 2nd set of vertical aspects.

3. Stages as "bodies" and stages equally as "mind". These are directly based on application of the dynamic appreciation of the diagonal aspects.

So using mathematical type language, the three fundamental polarities (combining their differentiated and integral interpretations) provide the necessary and sufficient conditions for interpretation of the key dynamics underlying development as the most efficient scientific means possible for encoding of all the stages in development.

So each stage is defined in terms of a unique dynamic configuration of the 3 fundamental polarities with respect to both their linear (differentiated) and circular (integrated) aspects.

The key feature about such a formulation is that it can be performed without direct phenomenal identification. Therefore it preserves the greatest openness possible with respect to the richly diverse patterns in which development occurs.

Though stages can indeed be defined precisely (though requiring very refined appreciation), because of the nature of dynamic interaction between levels, actual development can unfold in an infinite variety of ways.

Further more these three polarities have a beautifully coherent holistic mathematical interpretation (where - quite literally - they represent a reduced expression of oneness).
So - as I have written about on many previous occasions - we have here an integral Theory of Everything that - when appropriately appreciated - is both startling with respect to its innate simplicity (yet capable of potentially encoding all the complex transformation processes in the Kosmos).

Though this Theory of Everything can be given a number of distinctive holistic mathematical formulations, perhaps the most compelling is that of the holistic binary system (already mentioned).

So with appropriate integral mathematical appreciation, we can recognise that not alone do we have an analytic binary system with the potential capability of encoding all information, but now equally we have its holistic counterpart that is potentially capable of encoding all transformation processes.

At some point in the future, I am confident that it will be recognised that a comprehensive interpretation of reality requires the incorporation of both systems.