Spiritual Development at H3
Before going into the holistic mathematical nature of H3, perhaps it would be initially helpful to discuss it in a less abstract manner. I understand how - in terms of your approach - you view this level as the "highest" of the merely contemplative stages. Can you start by illustrating the inherently dynamic nature of H3 (and how it embraces all of the "higher" transpersonal and "lower" prepersonal levels)?
PC Once again all stages can be given both a linear (discrete) and circular (continuous) interpretation.
From the linear perspective we interpret the differentiated distinctive aspect of a stage (and how it is separate from other stages).
From the circular perspective we interpret its integral continuous aspect (and its ultimate interdependence with all other stages).
As all stages entail differentiation and integration, in the dynamics of experience both the discrete and continuous interpretations necessarily apply.
However the balance between both aspects can shift considerably throughout development.
In general with respect to stages at the middle of the Spectrum, the discrete interpretation will tend to dominate. However with "higher" (or alternatively "lower") stages the continuous interpretation becomes more significant.
As we are dealing with the "highest" stage (H3) - which in dynamic complementary terms equally entails the "lowest (L3) - the circular interpretation is now especially relevant.
As the full development of H3 - by definition - entails substantial integration of H1 and H2 (which in complementary terms entails L1 and L2) from a continuous perspective therefore we are here dealing with the dynamic integration of all "higher" and "lower" levels.
However the integration of the vitally important middle level with all other levels requires further development in terms of the stages of Radial Reality.
As stated before the discrete (linear) identity of H3 is in fact very limited and only has meaning while the process of integration (of other stages) remains incomplete.
Q I see! The full development of H3 only applies in the context of those destined for very pure contemplative type awareness. However presumably you would believe that at least some development of this level takes place in all cases?
PC Yes! By definition, experience entails continuous access to all levels (which includes H3). However in our culture, heterarchical discrete development with respect to the middle stages tends to dominate. This in turn tends to restrict refined hierarchical access to both "higher" and "lower" levels.
In this case H3 - which properly represents the integration of all "higher" and "lower" levels - can play but a very limited role.
In general, when heterarchical development of the linear stages dominates, "lower" and "higher" stage development - insofar as it occurs - will be quickly reconciled with the middle of the Spectrum.
In this case contemplative and radial stages cannot be clearly distinguished from ongoing heterarchical development of the middle level.
Q From my understanding H3 in spiritual terms is sometimes referred to as a void but then also as a plenum-void. How do you reconcile these two interpretations?
PC Once again though the essential nature of spiritual awareness is absolute (and unchanging), its realisation in actual experience is necessarily conditioned by the development process (which continually changes).
We have spoken before of the two directions of spiritual development.
Of course ultimately pure Spirit is utterly without direction. However when we attempt to approach Spirit through phenomenal language of distinction we are inevitably faced with dualistic paradox.
Thus if - starting from the Source (of Reality) - we identify the transcendent direction in development as movement towards its Goal, then, in relative terms, the immanent direction will be directly opposite heading from Goal to Source.
As always from the equally valid alternative reference frame, we can identify the immanent direction as moving from Source to Goal, in which case the transcendent will now - relatively - be from Goal to Source.
In development - especially as we have seen for the intellectually orientated mystic - it is quite common to initially view spiritual development predominantly in terms of its transcendent direction.
Here successful development is customarily seen (starting from Source) as a progressive movement away from lower physical structures towards increasingly more collective spiritual states (as Goal) that are ultimately devoid of phenomena.
Therefore from this (apophatic) transcendent perspective, the highest spiritual state will be seen as a voiding of all created phenomena.
However balanced development must equally incorporate the (kataphatic) immanent direction, which in the context we are discussing, will move - relatively - from Goal to Source.
Thus from the transcendent perspective we see Spirit as the ultimate ineffable Goal of created reality. However when over-emphasised this leads to the unbalanced relationship as between transpersonal and prepersonal (with "higher" spiritual ranked above "lower" physical stages). As we have seen this leads in turn to a (mere) top-down emphasis on integration (where the "lower" stages are integrated from the perspective of the "higher") and is often associated with the subtle repression of physical instincts.
However in the context we have defined it, from the immanent perspective Spirit is equally the ultimate ineffable Source of created reality.
Again when over-emphasised this leads to an unbalanced relationship as between transpersonal and prepersonal with mature "lower" prepersonal stages (now cleansed of unconscious shadow elements) more valued than "higher" spiritual stages. This in turn leads to a (mere) bottom-up emphasis on integration (where the "higher" stages are now integrated from the perspective of the refined "lower") and can be associated with repression of abstract mental capacity.
Thus to experience Spirit simultaneously as Source and Goal (and Goal and Source) i.e. ultimately without direction, the transcendent and immanent aspects must be brought into harmonious balance.
Therefore if the transcendent direction dominates in earlier contemplative development, then H3 will be largely concerned with further strengthening of its - still relatively weaker - immanent aspect.
In this case the earlier phase of H3 will be experienced more as a void (of created phenomena) i.e. as the ultimate spiritual Goal of Reality (reflecting the relative dominance of the transcendent aspect).
However as the immanent comes more into balance with the transcendent, this spiritual state will gradually give way to a plenum-void. So with the culmination of H3, it is simultaneously experienced as the Goal and Source of Reality (reflecting the balanced experience of both immanent and transcendent aspects).
And equally in terms of the structures of form, this will be associated with the balanced experience of both affective and cognitive aspects in "real" (conscious) and "imaginary" (unconscious) terms.
Using the language of nature what now happens is that the long contemplative night (experienced as darkness) slowly gives way to the dawning of a new day (as light). This develops into Radial Reality and the rebirth (in refined one-directional terms) of the world of created phenomena. Contemplation then gradually gives way to the richer mixed life that freely combines both activity and contemplation in a manner directly inspired by Spirit.
Q Can you use any other images to describe the unfolding of H3?
PC We have already spoken of H3 as resembling a deep sleep (that is however consistent with the efficient performance of regular waking activities).
From a psychological perspective, this state of sleep reflects considerable immersion in spiritual unconscious awareness (that remains largely hidden from conscious light).
So conscious waking activity during this time resembles the faint surface ripples on an ocean of Spirit that is concealed by an obscure darkness.
However as the immanent and transcendent directions become more closely harmonised, the balance in favour of unconscious spiritual development (which predominates at the "higher" stages) is gradually reduced. The Spirit is thereby freed to move towards its expression both in unconscious terms (as darkness) and corresponding conscious manner (as light).
In like manner the state of deep sleep (where one resides in forgetfulness) gradually gives way to an eternal awakening, so that creation is now reborn through the spiritual light as Ground and Source of all that is. So forgetfulness (i.e. of self and reality in rigid phenomenal terms) thereby gives way to a Divine remembrance of Spirit as the eternal essence - always present - of the entire created world.
So from a spiritual perspective, the culmination of H3 intersects both the sleep and waking states as the eternal Spirit (that is common to both). This leads to a continual resurrection in the new life of the Spirit (as conscious) that continually dies (in an unconscious manner).
"And each moment dies to live for all eternity
and all eternity dies so that each moment might live"
However though it is certainly correct to refer to Spirit in its essential absolute state as nondual, clearly the dynamic relationship as between such Spirit and the refined structures of the (reborn) world of phenomenal form is both dual and nondual.
Q Are there physiological counterparts to this divine awakening?
PC Yes! In the deep contemplative state of awareness that precedes divine awakening, one’s physical breath becomes almost entirely suspended.
Therefore the state of psychological death (i.e. through detachment from selfish identification with phenomena) is mirrored in physical terms by the suspension of natural breathing.
However with spiritual awakening this breath is gradually returned where it is no longer experienced as relating to one’s separate body but rather as the mediation of the life of the Kosmos through one’s being (which is now experienced as dynamically inseparable from all creation).
However, for those destined to experience it, this does not necessarily happen in a sudden dramatic fashion and may unfold gradually over a number of years.
Q How does one know if one is authentically experiencing H3?
PC From one perspective the answer would be when one is no longer conscious of any level.
Of course there is no ultimate proof (in a phenomenal manner) of the authenticity of realisation and many do indeed greatly delude themselves regarding their spiritual development. However I would say that when it is authentic, one has a deep inner conviction providing the necessary discernment to literally "see" what is unfolding.
This is extremely important! Spiritual development can in so many ways be utterly unique and adapted in highly creative ways to accommodate idiosyncratic aspects of personality.
Though spiritual guides may at times play an important role, I would be a firm advocate of the view that those who are confident of being on an authentic path should primarily trust in their own judgement (based on the genuine promptings of Spirit).
Also, the quality of experience - as in conventional terms - even of the "highest" levels can vary considerably.
Absolute perfection is not attainable in any meaningful sense so even in the lives of the greatest mystics, unresolved difficulties of personality will necessarily remain (but not however in a manner that can seriously hinder overall personality integration).
So in general the ultimate attainment of Radial Reality (in its mature sense) requires a degree of integration - with consequent cleansing of ego imperfections - that is unique for each individual concerned. Unwillingness however to accept the necessary level of purgation required will prevent development moving on to its next phase.
Indeed it is quite common even among those who have already achieved a significant level of spiritual development to get largely "stuck" at a particular stage never quite resolving the psychological issues necessary to advance further.
Lines of Development
Q Can you say a little about the "lines of development" and their role in "higher" spiritual development?
PC I find the term "lines of development" unduly restrictive. Quite simply it reflects an asymmetrical approach that is suited for appreciation of the differentiated rather than the integrated aspect of development.
Of course there is a valid sense in which separate "lines" can be considered to develop in a quasi-independent manner over a limited range of development. However if we are concerned with spiritual integration we need to establish the manner in which such "lines" are ultimately fully interdependent with each other.
Clearly treating them as independent is of little use in this regard!
Once again all stages have both a linear aspect (suited for differentiation) and a corresponding circular aspect (suited for integration) which interact in varying configurations throughout development. So a balanced approach must include both.
In my own approach I use the term "modes" in referring to the streams of development. These modes then include as just one aspect the differentiated interpretation of separate "lines".
However I make a number of other distinctions.
The modes can manifest themselves in either a primary or composite manner and it is the consideration of the primary modes that is essential for integration in development.
The primary modes lend themselves directly to holistic mathematical appreciation in terms of the three fundamental polarities (reflecting the fact that the fundamental structure of all stages - indeed of all transformation processes - is inherently mathematical in this dynamic holistic sense).
So once again each (primary) mode has, in horizontal terms, twin aspects which are - relatively - exterior and interior with respect to each other.
Then in vertical terms these modes manifest themselves holarchically (as "real" holons) or alternatively - in relative terms - partarchically (as "real" onhols). The decisive switching as between alternative structures (holons and onhols) comes from the intervention of the "imaginary" aspect. Thus all modes have "real" (conscious) and "imaginary" (unconscious) expressions.
Now the important point here is that in the dynamics of experience the switching of holons to onhols (or onhols to holons) always requires a corresponding switch from cognitive to affective (or alternatively affective to cognitive) mode.
Once again cognitive and affective - relatively - reflect in the most basic fashion the complementary manner in which we are enabled to both control and respond to phenomenal reality.
Therefore I identify the primary modes - in psychological terms - as the cognitive and affective aspects of understanding respectively that always alternate as between "real" (conscious) and "imaginary" (unconscious) format in both exterior and interior terms.
From a corresponding physical perspective we could say that all holons (and onhols) have both control and response aspects which continually interact (in an exterior and interior manner).
Now the diagonal polarities simultaneously combine both "real" and "imaginary" expressions (in exterior and interior terms) with respect to both cognitive and affective aspects.
This central co-ordinating mode - represented also by the diagonal lines - is directly associated with volition (which ultimately relates to the capacity to fully identify with nondual spiritual reality).
Volition is the chief defining characteristic of the self providing the very desire to seek integral meaning.
However at "lower" levels of development this central desire is inevitably confused to a degree (often very significant) with rigid phenomena leading in turn to a restricted notion of the phenomenal self (as separate from reality).
However as volitional motivation is increasingly refined through "higher" development, it centres more directly on Spirit for meaning, leading to an enhanced awareness of one's true universal Self.
So from this volitional perspective, the key dynamic dialectic of development entails the relationship as between the somewhat limited phenomenal self at "lower" levels and the emerging awareness of an unrestricted universal Self (which is of a directly spiritual nature).
Once more with the emergence of Radial Reality (with its dual and nondual aspects), the (changing) phenomenal self is restored in a very refined manner where it freely and creatively interacts with the (unchanging) universal Self.
So we now can combine the three essential functions of feeling (affective), thinking (cognitive) and willing (volitional) or - in corresponding physical terms - response, control and (basic evolutionary) drive.
With respect to the purest expressions of the "higher" levels the central role of volition is an essential prerequisite for the proper harmonisation of affective and cognitive modes (with respect to both exterior and interior expressions).
Thus full integration in experiential spiritual terms, requires the corresponding integration with respect to the primary modes.
Now the composite entail varying configurations of the primary modes.
I distinguish here further in terms of key and other composite modes.
In this context the key modes relate to the "Big Three" i.e. scientific, artistic and moral development. I use these in a wider sense than perhaps is normally understood reflecting a fundamental manner in which the primary modes are enabled to develop in a phenomenal context.
The scientific generally entails a major focus on the cognitive aspect of understanding. However the other primary modes are also to an extent combined.
The artistic by contrast emphasises the affective aspect though the other primaries will invariably be involved.
Finally the moral will entail key attention on the volitional mode. Once more it necessarily incorporates the other primary modes (sometimes to a considerable extent).
Just as full personality integration at a spiritual level entails adequate and balanced development with respect to the three primary modes, equally we can say - by extension - that it also entails adequate and balanced development with respect to the three key composite modes in terms of both their linear (differentiated) and circular (integrated) aspects.
However the precise manner in which the key composite modes unfold for each individual can vary greatly.
The other (composite) modes relate to various means through which the primary develop. Some are more generally important e.g. psychosexual development. Others represent more specific expressions of the modes e.g. musical ability.
Development with respect to the more general modes would be implied in terms of the key composite modes. So for example proper artistic development (in the wide manner I define it) would include satisfactory psychosexual development as a requirement.
Though development with respect to more specific modes may be vital in many cases (as a means of key mode development), they will not be necessary for all.
Let me quickly give just a couple of examples with respect to specific modes.
Logico-mathematical development would represent a very important - though more specific - expression of the primary mode (cognitive) and its corresponding key composite expression (i.e. scientific).
However though adequate development with respect to this specific mode may play for many a major role in terms of primary cognitive development it will not be essential for all.
In other words one may be a fully-fledged mystic without displaying marked logico-mathematical ability. However significant cognitive development of an alternative kind (with respect to both differentiated and integrated aspects of experience) must necessarily take place.
Again musical development could represent an important specific composite expression of the primary affective mode with its corresponding key composite expression (i.e. artistic).
Once more - though significant development of this specific mode may prove essential for certain individuals (to obtain adequate development of the primary affective mode) - it certainly will not be true in all cases.
So one could be tone deaf and yet attain the "highest" level of mystical awareness provided appropriate affective development takes place through other means.
However it is important to stress this point.
Though concentration on modes as "lines of development" may indeed be largely valid up to the middle stages, increasingly - where "higher" spiritual development is concerned - the focus needs to turn to such modes as "circles of development" (where their interdependence with each other is increasingly established).
And remember it is the primary modes (with their key composite expressions) that are especially relevant in this context!
Q What about interpersonal relationships? Where do they fit in?
PC These are indeed very important as general composite expressions of the primary modes. However - in the context of my approach - they would be implied by the key composite modes.
Thus in the widest sense dealing successfully with people is to some extent a science form.
For example if I visit my bank manager with a business proposal he will want to be impressed by the (scientific) facts regarding the proposal.
Also it is very much an art form requiring - as in close personal relationships - the ability to properly empathise with others (relating to affective ability).
Most of all it is a moral form where one fundamentally respects and values others because of deep recognition of a common shared spiritual heritage.
We must be careful therefore not to judge interpersonal ability merely on conventional norms where the emphasis can be on superficially pleasing characteristics (that mask a lack of genuine concern).
Thus again it is certainly possible that someone who may - in conventional terms - be judged as very poor regarding interpersonal ability (say because of the absence of any worldly charm) may in fact be truly developed in this regard (from an authentic mystical perspective).
Q What is the relationship as between the linear (differentiated) and circular (integrated) approaches? Can one reach a very "high" level with respect to a primary mode while remaining comparatively undeveloped with respect to another?
PC Unbalanced development at the "higher" levels with respect to the primary modes is only possible in a very qualified sense.
As we have seen, in dynamic experiential terms we have the interaction of both linear and circular aspects with respect to these modes.
Though substantial separation in development is indeed possible up to and including the middle levels, this becomes increasingly less feasible at the "higher" spiritual levels.
By its very nature early development is mainly concerned with the successful (linear) differentiation of the modes (which culminates with the middle level).
Thus only a limited form of integration (that seeks an accommodation with differentiated notions) is thereby possible at the middle level.
However though refined differentiation still necessarily takes place - by their very nature - the "higher" levels become increasingly geared to developing the (circular) interdependence of all modes thereby enabling overall personality integration.
Thus - though a certain degree of imbalance is likely - it is not really credible to conceive of someone at the "highest" level say of cognitive development (H3) to be at a much "lower" level with respect to affective or moral development (e.g. H0).
Balanced development from an integral perspective must necessarily be supported by balanced bi-directional development with respect to differentiation.
This is a point that is often overlooked.
If we for example identify a primary mode e.g. cognitive, differentiation necessarily takes place with respect to all four quadrants.
And in the context of "higher" development cognitive development will increasingly interpenetrate with Spirit leading to very refined paradoxical appreciation of relationships.
For example the interpretation of physical reality may entail substantial development in the exterior quadrants.
However - in relative terms - interpretation with respect to psychological reality would thereby entail corresponding development in the interior quadrants.
So unbalanced differentiation in this context would represent cognitive ability that can only focus satisfactorily with respect to one horizontal direction (either exterior or interior).
Likewise with respect to vertical quadrants cognitive ability can be either whole directed (general conceptual ability) or part directed (empirical factual ability).
Again unbalanced differentiation - with respect to a given "higher" level - would entail conceptual (without equal empirical) or alternatively empirical (without corresponding conceptual) development.
So when development tends to overshoot with respect to one of the primary modes at the "higher" levels, this generally entails unbalanced (linear) differentiation i.e. that does not take place equally in all of the quadrants.
This unbalanced differentiation therefore sets severe limits to the possibilities for balanced (circular) integration of the cognitive aspect with respect to all quadrants.
Furthermore it can greatly hinder the attempt to achieve subsequent integration of this with other primary modes both within and between levels.
Q What about sensori-motor development and kinesthetic sporting type abilities. Surely these are very important! How do they fit in to your approach?
PC They are indeed very important. These can in fact be smoothly incorporated with our primary modes.
The very essence of the dynamic approach is that mature development at a transpersonal level intimately depends on disentangling confusion at the corresponding prepersonal level.
Thus the "highest" volitional development, leading to pure spiritual awareness, is intimately associated with the most instinctive behaviour at a physical level (or more correctly psycho-physical level).
So the most basic instinctive patterns that determine sensori-motor abilities and are given their keenest expression in competitive sport, represent a pre-volition state (i.e. not amenable to direct volitional control) which in turn is associated with confusion of affective and cognitive modes.
Though instinctive behaviour can indeed be progressively refined it can never be entirely freed of its involuntary nature. This in turn sets limits to the degree of pure spiritual freedom that can be achieved in "higher" transpersonal terms. In other words spiritual development must always be experienced through the physical body which necessarily incorporates instinctive behaviour (though of an increasingly more refined variety).
Q I see you define integration with respect to H3 directly in terms of the primary modes. Why is this the case?
PC In my approach the modes represent the most detailed division of stages. Though these are always present in development with respect to earlier levels (both in terms of their differentiation and integration) they are not fully unravelled - as it were - till the "highest" stage. Thus ultimately remaining confusion with respect to the proper differentiation (and integration) of modes sets limits to full development at earlier levels.
Summary of Stages
Q Can you briefly summarise your division of stages with respect to development.
PC At the most general level I deal with bands (4) which can then be divided into levels (10).
Then bridging of each of the levels (till H3) are transition levels (6) .
Each major level is then divided into sub-levels (3)
Each sub-level (up to H3) is further divided in terms of dimensions. At (L0, H0) we have 1 dimension; at L1 and H1 we have 2; at L2 and H2 we have 4 and at L3 and H3 we have 8.
In each case these dimensions are paired with each other in terms of complementary opposites.
At L1 and H1 we have the pairing of horizontal poles; at L2 and H2 the pairing of horizontal and vertical poles and at L3 and H3 the pairing of horizontal, vertical and diagonal poles.
These poles are confused with each other at the "lower" and then properly disentangled at the corresponding "higher" level.
The link between opposite dimensions then incorporates the need for mirror structure interpretation. So every asymmetrical interpretation (in any direction) has an equally valid opposite interpretation (representing an arbitrary switch in the polar reference frame).
So all stages have both conventional and mirror image interpretations. Furthermore these mirror interpretations play a vital role in moving from differentiated to integral interpretation.
Finally each dimension can be sub-divided in terms of primary modes which relate to cognitive, affective and volitional development respectively.
So the bands relate to the most general classification of stages and the (primary) modes to the most specific (through in dynamic terms all stages are necessarily interrelated.)
These stages (whether broad or specific) are all defined in terms of both their linear (differentiated) and circular (integrated) aspects.
Thus from a dynamic perspective a stage is defined in terms of the interaction of both aspects.
Likewise all stages can be defined in terms of self (or reality); in terms of states (or structures) and finally in terms of bodies (or mind).
Remarkably the holistic interpretation of mathematical symbols gives unique scientific clarity and coherence to all these stages (with respect to all aspects) again reflecting the crucially important fact that the very structure of development is inherently mathematical (in this holistic sense).
Q Can you briefly illustrate the nature of this stage approach for example with respect to the primary affective mode?
PC To place this in context we start with the bands. In this instance we will take the "higher" band. Remember that this can be interpreted in either a linear (asymmetrical) or circular (complementary) fashion! So we are choosing the circular interpretation here (i.e. where the "higher" is understood as complementary with the "lower" band).
We then choose a level from this band e.g. H1 (the subtle realm).
As the levels are subdivided into sub-levels we choose one of the these say SL1 (concrete).
The sub-levels are in turn defined in terms of dimensions (D1). We have two horizontal dimensions exterior and interior (in terms of this sub-level). So let us take the exterior aspect.
Finally within this sub-level we can define a primary mode (M1) which in this case is affective.
What we have here is the supersensory experience in affective terms of concrete physical phenomena.
So each physical symbol has now both a local and holistic (archetypal) identity which interpenetrate. In other words concrete symbols are illuminated through interaction with spiritual light giving them a more elusive transparent identity.
The experience of such sense symbols imbues emotional feelings that increasingly serve as expressions of eternal Spirit.
However conflict inevitably arises as a degree of rigidity still necessarily attaches to the more localised phenomenal interpretation. Put another way one at this stage, understanding is suspended between dual and nondual understanding without being yet able to reconcile both.
So the emerging conflict (in terms of the exterior physical dimension) leads in mystical terms to the consequent need of purgation (i.e. dynamic negation) so as to lessen this attachment. This in turn leads to a switch in experience to the other dimension (i.e. interior).
Therefore in the dynamics of experience, the successful switch as between dimensions intimately depends on mirror structure understanding.
Here in affective terms there is now a more intensive development with respect to internalised feelings (as the subjective affective response to concrete phenomena).
So whereas earlier the emphasis was on the exterior symbols (evoking the affective response) now the emphasis is directly on the feelings (triggered by such symbols).
In this way emotions become more spiritualised (internally). However once again the same type of conflict as between spiritual and (rigid) phenomenal understanding is inevitable leading to the need for further dynamic negation with consequent further development in mirror structure development.
This leads to a switch back to the exterior dimension.
However because considerable erosion of the (rigid) appreciation of concrete phenomena (though dynamic negation with respect to both dimensions) exterior understanding will now be of an abstract quality (largely denuded of specific sense involvement).
This in turn defines the commencement of the second of our sub-levels (i.e. formal)
So affective response will now be of a much more collective quality where for example (in terms of the exterior dimension) contact with physical reality evokes a holistic spiritual type response (e.g. a general feeling of joy).
The ultimate failure to resolve the dual/nondual problem at H1 relates to the manner in which the vertical complementary relationship with the corresponding "lower" level is experienced.
A typical problem that arises is that one unconsciously views the "higher" as superior to the "lower" level. This in turn leads to subtle repression of basic emotional instincts.
This in turn reflects a key imbalance in the relationship as between the cognitive and affective modes.
So the addressing of this two-way vertical relationship as between "higher" and "lower" (and "lower" and "higher") then becomes a central concern at the next level of H2 (causal). We could then trace development of the modes - in a similar - though more complex manner through the sub-levels and dimensions of H2 (which for brevity I will not do at this juncture).
However because vertical and horizontal polarities are themselves ultimately interdependent, the reconciliation in either case requires the simultaneous integration of both (which then becomes the prime task of H3).
And because the volitional mode is central to this task of harmonising cognitive and affective (and affective and cognitive), H3 is then defined in terms of the fullest integration of the primary modes.
Q Does such a detailed approach to stages constitute an integral approach?
PC No! We can have a coherent analytic asymmetrical approach, suited to differentiation, that is based either on a small or large number of stage variables.
Equally we can have a coherent holistic approach (based on complementarity) suited to integration that is again based on either a limited or large number of variables.
And as differentiation is not to be confused with integration, finally we can have a coherent radial approach (that dynamically combines differentiation and integration) that is based on few or many variables.
Thus what defines a coherent approach is one whose methodology is appropriate for the chosen task (i.e. differentiation, integration or irradiation).
As we have seen integration is invariably confused - in conventional intellectual terms - with differentiation.
Therefore "integral approaches" based firmly on unambiguous asymmetrical stage notions of development are a misnomer and properly reflect (limited) differentiated type interpretation.
Though they may seem valid from the perspective of middle level interpretation, this only highlights the fact that a key characteristic of the middle level is the intellectual reduction of integration to differentiated notions.
Types and Phases of Development
Q Do you make any further sub-divisions in your dynamic classification of stages?
PC I do not see any reason for further sub-division of stages as such. However I do use two further forms of classification, which greatly facilitate the task of tracing a coherent dynamic manner of development through the various stages.
I refer to these as Types and Phases.
The former refer to personality types which once again can be given a remarkably coherent holistic mathematical interpretation.
The latter phases - based on a particular personality type - then trace out a typical dynamic path that might be expected at a given stage of development.
Frequently I use the phases to interpret the unfolding relationship of the primary modes (with respect to a corresponding dimension). However the notion can be extended more broadly to ultimately incorporate all stages of a given level.
Q Briefly how do you define your Personality Types?
PC If one takes the four letters a, b, c and d and make as many different permutations (i.e. arrangements) as possible (using all four letters) there will be 24 in all.
Now if we look on a personality type as representing a particular arrangement of the four quadrants (which can be represented by four different letters) we will get 24 personality types in all.
The first letter here denotes the strongest quadrant (or basic orientation) in the personality, the second letter the auxiliary, the third the less developed and the 4th the weakest quadrant. So each personality type is defined in terms of a unique arrangement of the quadrants (defining respective strengths of orientation).
Q Does this bear any relationship to conventional systems?
PC Very much so! 16 of the types in this system bear an extremely close relationship to the corresponding 16 types in the Myers-Briggs system.
Then other 8 - which are particularly interesting - represent the inherently mystical personality types (which are not specifically catered for in the other system).
The point is that each personality type is likely to follow a distinctive path in terms of development, tracing out a unique system of coherent stage dynamics.
However the possibility of full contemplative development is not likely for all types. Indeed only the 8 mystical types are inherently geared (given the appropriate developmental circumstances) to seek integration at the most advanced stages.
Not surprisingly - given the nature of my own work - I focus especially on the more intellectually orientated mystical personality type that is inherently suited for holistic cognitive appreciation of the overall structures of development - especially "higher" and radial - that I am here portraying.
So this very kind of understanding - by definition - is likely to fully resonate with a limited number of people.
Q What basically distinguishes the mystical personality group (with its 8 types) from the other types in the Myers-Briggs Classification?
PC Basically in the Myers-Briggs, personality types are defined in either/or terms with respect to attitude and function. So for example one is defined as either an extrovert (E) or introvert (I), either intuitive (N) or sense orientated (S), either in terms of thinking (T) or feeling (F) and finally either in terms of perception (P) or judgement (J).
However the very essence of the mystical type is that these "opposites" are inherently present as complementary opposites in personality (though in a secondary manner one aspect may certainly be more dominant in terms of early development).
Therefore in terms of the first classification in the Myers Briggs i.e. extrovert (E) or introvert (I), these do not strictly apply for the mystical type which is inherently both introvert and extrovert.
Indeed I have coined the terms controvert to refer to this basic orientation i.e. inherently centred on ultimate reality (without direction).
So all mystical personality types in a primary sense are centroverts (C) though in secondary sense they will display - typically - either extrovert or introvert tendencies (sometimes to a marked extent).
Likewise with respect to the other classifications, in a primary sense, the mystical type is neither intuitive (N) nor sense orientated (S) but rather directly essence orientated (in a spiritual manner).
Furthermore the mystical type is primarily defined by neither thinking nor feeling but rather volition (i.e. the primary desire for pure ineffable union).
Finally the mystical type is primarily defined neither by perception nor judgement but rather by discernment (which in spiritual terms incorporates both).
So the dynamics for development of the mystical types are driven through all stages by the inevitable conflicts as between strong primary spiritual orientation and secondary personality characteristics (inconsistent with such orientation).
So in terms of my system of 24 Types we have three main groups.
Two are almost identical with the Myers-Briggs. (Perhaps this is not surprising. The Myers-Briggs is based very directly on Jungian notions and as - previously stated -Jungian notions are implicitly of a holistic mathematical nature).
In the Myers-Briggs these two groups are defined as S (sense) and N (intuition). In corresponding holistic mathematical terms these are R (real) and Im (imaginary).
The real group is literally geared to deal with reality (as consciously understood) in actual terms.
The imaginary group is likewise literally geared to deal with the world of imagination (as unconsciously understood) in potential terms.
These in turn correspond to the horizontal and vertical polarities respectively in my holistic mathematical system.
However the third group in my system - not included in the Myers-Briggs - is the essential spiritual type inherently centred on ineffable spiritual reality (Es).
In holistic mathematical terms this is represented directly by the diagonal polarities which alternatively have a primary interpretation as null lines (with magnitude = 0) or alternatively in secondary terms as lines with equal real (R) and imaginary (Im) co-ordinates.
So though the mystical group in primary terms is defined by an essential spiritual orientation, in secondary terms this entails the balanced harmonisation of both real (conscious) and imaginary (unconscious) understanding (which is perfectly represented by the linear and circular interpretation of horizontal, vertical and diagonal polarities).
This perhaps explains in turn why I am concentrating so much in these discussions on H3 (the home of the diagonal polarities) as it is ultimately central for interpretation of the structures I am outlining.
Q Finally can say briefly tell us about the Phases?
Once again a phase is defined with respect to a personality group or alternatively type within a group (depending on precise circumstances) and is used to outline a typical dynamic path of development with respect to an overall set of stages at a given level.
In general the nature of this path will vary depending on the level involved.
So for example a linear model may best describe the development of stages at the middle level (H0).
However at H1 a "real" wave or spiral type model would perhaps be more appropriate (reflecting the increasing interpenetration of paradoxical circular with unambiguous linear type appreciation). A similar model representing confused experience would be appropriate for L1.
At H2 the pattern changes again so that a "virtual" double helix type model (that continually emanates from a spiritual centre) would now be more relevant. A similar inverse model (of confusion) is appropriate for L2.
At H3 even virtual type phenomena are eroded from memory, so in the void only the central point remains (from which instantly dissolving "real" and "virtual" phenomena continually emanate). Even this point (as it is unambiguously centred) is eventually dissolved so that with the culmination of H3 and the plenum-void nothing remains. However this is now paradoxically centred everywhere as potential fullness of being.
Such paradox - through indirect dualistic interpretation - is alone consistent with ineffable nondual awareness.
Again a similar inverse approach characterises L3.
Finally radial reality is best described in mandalic terms with lines issuing from a centre (in positive and negative directions) that move out to an unbounded circumference of a circle and continually return to that same centre.
So here linear, circular and point awareness are reconciled with ineffable spiritual reality.
Q What implications has this for the holarchic interpretation of development?
PC As I have repeatedly stated the holarchic interpretation of development represents the attempt to apply the intellectual interpretation consistent with the middle level (H0) to all levels.
Strictly speaking the holarchic approach is not even properly consistent with the true dynamics of development of H0 and more accurately represents an interpretation that merely appears tenable in terms of the understanding of this level.
However holarchy, in the unambiguous manner in which it is typically understood, is quite inappropriate - even in terms of appearance - as a dynamic interpretation of all other levels.
Ultimately of course all interpretations represent appearance (rather than reality). However - even in this context - some appearances are more appropriate than others.
So from a dynamic perspective, outside the middle level - either in "higher" or "lower" terms - holarchic interpretation of development is inappropriate.