"There are two definitions of transcendence that have relevance to our discussion. These are given in my dictionary as:
1.Exceeding or surpassing in degree or excellence.
2.Theology (of God) having existence outside the created world.
Immanence has these meanings:
1.Existing, operating, or remaining within; inherent.
2.Theology (of God) present throughout the Universe.
It is clear that definition 2 in both cases is derived from definition 1."
What I find striking about his dictionary definitions is that they point very well to the complementary nature of transcendence and immanence, with definition 1 and 2 in each case representing the relative and absolute perspective respectively.
Ray in refusing to recognize their complementary nature adopts an untenable position putting him at sharp variance not alone with my own position but also that of Ken Wilber.
Though Definition 1 for example - in relation to transcendence - can be used without a specific spiritual connotation, this would not apply to Ken Wilber's treatment, where each stage of development transcends and includes the previous stage, ultimately culminating with pure Spirit as the "highest rung".
There are however insuperable difficulties however with this view (which I will deal with later).
Ken would then use the second definition in relation to the absolute ineffable nature of Spirit (which would include the theological definition of God as one expression).
Where Ken and I would agree would be on the necessity of recognizing the paradoxical nature of Spirit and the need for successfully resolving this paradox in terms of true nondual experience of reality.
So the attempt to look at these aspects in merely dualistic terms, leads to inevitable imbalance as between the relationship of spiritual and material reality (this world and the next world) which Ken describes as the most important of all dualisms.
Where I would sharply disagree with Ken is in the manner in which he then
attempts to intellectually translate the relationship as between immanence and transcendence, which in terms of his various statements once again reveals severe inconsistency accompanied by an unexplained shifting of position.
Ray limits himself to a very dualistic interpretation of the relationship as between both aspects, which is quite untenable (and neither in keeping with Ken's nor my own position).
"So, if the key concept here is inseparability it follows that if something is immanent it can never become transcendent - it must remain within. Therefore transcendence is not the antonym of immanence. The terms are mutually exclusive. Something is either immanent or it is transcendent, there is no in-between, there is no process whereby the one can become the other."
It is hard to imagine a more rigidly dualistic position than this. It is especially inappropriate when dealing with attributes of Spirit (which by its very nature is nondual).
At a (linear) analytic level, polar opposites are clearly separated.
Therefore "within" is unambiguously differentiated from "without". This is the appropriate language of conventional science (not of esoteric mysticism).
However in the dynamics of experience, "within" and "without" are clearly interdependent and mutually include each other. We can only recognize what is "within" in the context of what is "without". Likewise we can only recognize what is "without" in the context of "within".
Thus when we adopt the more dynamic (circular) complementary understanding, rigid dualistic distinction breaks down. So ultimately "within" and "without" (as with all polar opposites) are reconciled in the pure experience of ineffable Spirit (which is nondual).
So if we are to express this nondual reality from the standpoint of dualistic opposites, we use a both/and - rather than an either/or - language of pure paradox.
Thus from the affirmative (kathaphatic) aspect, we can say that Spirit is both immanent and transcendent i.e. where Spirit is seen as the proper culmination of a truth seen only imperfectly through the veils of phenomenal opposites.
From the negative (aphophatic) stance we can equally say that Spirit is neither immanent nor transcendent, implying that all dualistic labeling is inappropriate in terms of ineffable Spirit.
"The only situation in which immanence is used as the opposite of transcendence is in the specific context of the different religious views of God. A religion is either a religion of immanence or a religion of transcendence. But of course, this is itself a simplification."
Ray seems to me to be continually confused as between the two senses in
which "opposite" is used.
In the language of (dualistic) differentiation, opposites are used in a mutually exclusive sense (e.g. something is either exterior or interior). However in the language of (dual) integration, opposites are used in a directly complementary sense. (Here exterior implies interior and interior implies exterior).
Now clearly it is a limitation of any religion that identifies too strongly with either an (exclusively) transcendent or immanent expression. The true purpose of religion is to show how these two aspects are properly reconciled and this is achieved with varying degrees of success in all of the great mystical traditions.
"Yet Collins repeatedly, as we shall see, uses immanence as the antonym of transcendence and confuses definition 1 with definition 2."
The basis of my approach throughout is that I recognize the two senses in which opposites are used.
The very identification of the levels (or stages) of development is based on a typical manner in which the relationship between both sets of opposites is configured (which expresses the understanding of the corresponding level).1
I concern myself especially with the intellectual problem of translation, as to how one moves consistently from limited dualistic notions of transcendence and immanence to more appropriate expressions, that are properly consistent with the growing emergence of nondual understanding. I would say without hesitation that I see considerable problems here with Ken Wilber's manner of translation (which I will shortly illustrate).
I do not intend to go into detail on Ray's comments regarding the manner in which he sees transcendence treated in various eastern traditions. Though interesting in its own right it is not strictly relevant either to the nature of my own approach or my criticism of Ken Wilber.
I will just make two comments.
First of all, Ray is not sufficiently aware of my understanding or practice of Christianity to project a transcendent bias on to my interpretation of Wilber. In fact it is distinctly at odds with my actual position, as I firmly believe in fact that there is an unduly strong transcendent emphasis on development in Ken Wilber's writings.
Secondly, he makes what I consider the inaccurate inference that Ken's understanding of transcendence is somewhat in line with his own interpretation of eastern positions.
We have to distinguish here as between Ken's intellectual model of holarchical development - which is very Western in emphasis - and various "eastern" statements on the nature of the nondual traditions. These often show a considerable discontinuity with his holarchical model.
Ken is not reflecting a merely Buddhist position on transcendence and immanence in relation to his holarchical model.
Indeed one of his lengthiest discussions on their nature is from SES where he discusses the work of Plotinus (who is more closely associated with the Western School of thought).
"Wilber on the other hand is entirely consistent."
No! He certainly is not. Ray suffers from a common Wilberian trait, which is a marked inability to recognize the many serious inconsistencies which proliferate his writings.
I will quote here a number of statements from Ken's own work to illustrate my point.
I will deal first with the Preface to the 2nd Edition of "The Spectrum of
Consciousness" where he deals concisely with this issue.
"In its immanent aspect, Spirit is the Condition of all conditions, the Being of all beings, the Nature of all natures. As such, it neither evolves nor involves, grows or develops, ascends or descends. It is the simple suchness or isness - the perfect - isness - of all that is, of each and every thing in manifestation." …
"In its transcendent aspect, however, Spirit is the highest rung on our own ladder of growth and evolution. It is something we must work to comprehend, to understand, to attain union with, to identify with." ….
"In other words, while in its immanent aspects Spirit simply IS, in its transcendent aspects Spirit evolves or develops."
Now there are obvious problems with this stated position.
Ken tries to identify the immanent aspect of Spirit solely with its absolute nature.
However he then tries to identify the transcendent aspect as both relative and absolute.
In other words according to Ken the realization of the transcendent aspect evolves or develops (relative). However at the "highest rung" of development, the transcendent aspect is Absolute.
However this is clearly unsatisfactory.
First, it indicates an obvious lack of complementarity as between both aspects (with realization of the transcendent aspect alone treated in a relative manner).
Second, as regards the transcendent aspect, Ken attempts to approach its nondual nature from a decidedly linear dualistic perspective (i.e. as the "highest rung").
However such a dualistic notion is quite unsuitable as a description of the nondual nature of Spirit.
Third, by then saying
"In other words, while in its immanent aspects Spirit simply IS, in its transcendent aspects Spirit evolves or develops", Ken actually confuses the relative aspect - in terms of the realization through the process of development of the transcendent aspect of Spirit - with its absolute expression where it eternally IS.
Spirit has both transcendent and immanent aspects, so if we are to express ourselves in dualistic language the essential ever-present nature of Spirit applies equally to both its aspects.
Also to see Spirit as the "highest rung" on the ladder of evolution is again obviously dualistic. "Highest" represents just one side of a polarity. So it is quite inappropriate to refer to Spirit in such an unbalanced dualistic fashion.
Now the way to resolve these difficulties is to accept that while Spirit has, in its absolute ineffable nature, both transcendent and immanent aspects, in the process of manifest development, these two aspects are inevitably to a degree separated.
This therefore requires that the growth of realization of Spirit entails both transcendent and immanent aspects. However in terms of development, Ken identifies exclusively here with its transcendent aspect, which alone is deemed to evolve (though of course strictly it is not Spirit that evolves but rather the realization of Spirit!)
This apparent inability to recognize that the transcendent and immanent appreciation of Spirit necessarily unfold (and enfold) with development (and envelopment) I find quite surprising.
Yet, when one reflects on experience, it is readily apparent.
It may be quite correct to say - as Ken does - that in an absolute sense, Spirit is fully present in its immanent aspect at every stage of development (though this of course equally applies to its transcendent aspect!)
However the realization of this immanence is not fully present (just as the realization of the transcendent aspect is not fully present) and must necessarily grow through experience.
To realize creation in its immanence requires being detached to a considerable extent from selfish possessive identification with phenomena.
When we rigidly identify with phenomena, we recognize their appearance of gross materiality rather than the spiritual essence residing within. Phenomena are then unable to properly radiate their inherent light.
The detachment from possessive identification requires transcendence so as to recognize what is beyond our present limited understanding. Ultimately, with sufficient growth, this widens into a fuller appreciation of pure Spirit without phenomenon (i.e. that cannot be narrowly identified with any phenomenon).
However as each stage of transcendence frees us in some measure from selfish identification, we are then enabled to better appreciate the immanent nature of phenomena so that they become better mediators of the spiritual light.
And the relationship as between immanence and transcendence works both
ways leading to a circular bi-directional perspective.
As we are enabled to see the spiritually immanent nature of reality gradually revealed through phenomena, we obtain the desire to further transcend the limitations imposed through remaining rigid identification with them.
So immanence is necessary for transcendence and transcendence necessary for immanence and in dynamic terms it is very important to recognize this fact.
So Absolute Spirit has both transcendent and immanent aspects. These can be paradoxically referred to as the Ground and the Goal (or from the opposite reference frame the Goal and Ground) of existence. Though Spirit does not of course evolve (or involve) with respect to either its transcendent or immanent aspects, the realization of Spirit however necessarily unfolds (and enfolds) throughout development (and envelopment). This applies to both aspects, which are dynamically interdependent.
We can identify more clearly Ken's confused representation of transcendent Spirit as the "highest rung" of the ladder with reference to his diagrammatic representation on page 8 of "The Marriage of Sense and Soul".
Ken refers to the lowest stage of matter as A. Then the next stage of life "adds" an emergent property (in transcending and including the previous level) and is referred to as A + B.
Continuing on in this fashion with further emergent properties in terms of mind and soul, Ken ultimately identifies Spirit as the "highest" stage (i.e. the "highest rung" on the ladder). This is then represented as
A + B + C + D + E.
However in terms of the immanence of Spirit, this linear approach is quite inconsistent.
Remember Ken maintains that the Spirit is present at every level.
Therefore Spirit is necessarily present at his level of matter (i.e. Physics). However this is represented as A (which clearly does not equate with his transcendent representation of Spirit
as A + B + C + D + E).
Spirit is not the "highest rung" on the ladder. It only appears as the "highest rung" on the ladder when we attempt to view it in (linear) dualistic terms. However such dualistic understanding is clearly inappropriate in terms of the nondual nature of Spirit.
Therefore the very requirement for achieving nondual realization requires the undoing in experience of this limited dualistic interpretation. The task likewise for an integral translation is to adequately reflect this process of transformation (from dual to nondual).
If we look at "the Eye of Spirit" on P. 44, we again get this emphasis on transcendence as the "highest rung". Ken affirms explicitly the absolute nature of the transcendent dimension.
"The first aspect, the highest-rung aspect, is the transcendental nature of Spirit - it far surpasses any "worldly" or creaturely or finite things. The entire earth (or even universe) could be destroyed, and Spirit would remain. The second aspect, the wood aspect, is the immanent nature of Spirit - Spirit is equally and totally present in all manifest things and events, in nature, in culture, in heaven and on earth, with no partiality. From this angle, no phenomenon whatsoever is closer to Spirit than another, for all are equally "made of" Spirit. Thus, Spirit is both the highest goal of all development and evolution, and the ground of the entire sequence, as present fully at the beginning as at the end. Spirit is prior to this world, but not other to this world."
So whereas using the language of Spectrum, Ken emphasized the immanent aspect as Absolute, the transcendent aspect is now equally represented as Absolute.
However Ken is still stuck with this unsatisfactory "highest rung" definition of the transcendent aspect. Clearly if the transcendent aspect of Spirit remains despite the whole world being destroyed, then Spirit is not the "highest rung" on a developmental ladder.
If we now move to SES P. 583, a very noticeable shift in position is in evidence.
"As we will see in much greater detail in chapter 8, Spirit is not merely or even especially the summit of the scale of evolution, or some sort of Divine omega point (although that is part of the story). Spirit is preeminently the empty Ground, or groundless Emptiness, fully present at each and every stage of evolution, as the open- ness in which the particular stage unfolds, as well as the substance of that which is unfolded. Spirit transcends and includes the world: transcends, in the sense that it is prior to the world, prior to the Big Bang, prior to any manifestation; includes, in the sense that the world is not other to Spirit, form is not other to Emptiness."
Remember that Ken had earlier identified the transcendent aspect of Spirit as the "highest rung". He seems - understandably - to be having some difficulties with this view for now "Spirit is not merely or even especially the summit of the scale of evolution (although that is part of the story)".
Ken here defines Spirit as preeminently "the empty Ground or groundless Emptiness" which from what we can infer, relates to the transcendent aspect (i.e. transcends in that it is prior to the world, prior to the Big Bang, prior to any manifestation").
However he is now defining the transcendent aspect in a manner that is remarkably similar to the immanent aspect in Spectrum ("Condition of all conditions, Being of all Beings, nature of all natures"). And how exactly is this latest expression of the Absolute nature of transcendent Spirit (i.e.. "prior to any manifestation") to be squared with the earlier expression as the "highest rung" in evolution?
Furthermore though his statements are far from being clear he now subsumes the immanent aspect under the transcendent aspect.
So Spirit transcends and includes the World (i.e. as emptiness including all form).
However though "form is not other than emptiness", likewise "emptiness is not other than form". So from this perspective Spirit is made immanent and included in the World. (However this latter - and equally valid mirror interpretation - is not emphasized by Ken!)
Interestingly he also refers to this latest statement as a position (implying perhaps the suggestion that it is not fully consistent with earlier positions).
However this is the great problem I find with Ken Wilber's approach. He keeps throwing out a variety of positions on various important issues that are in no way properly consistent with each other. Furthermore, there is little attempt at reconciliation of these conflicting positions. Sadly, this piecemeal collection of inconsistent statements is too often accepted uncritically by his followers as representative of a coherent integral approach.
If we read his Chapters on Plotinus in SES, P. 336, we can see the basis for yet another position.
"For Plotinus (and Aurobindo), we find that on the Path of ascent – what Plotinus calls Reflux (return) – each successive level goes beyond yet subsumes or "envelops", as Plotinus says, its predecessors – the familiar concept of development as successive holons."
A few lines later Ken himself refers to this as
("there is nothing transcendent that is not also immanent") For Plotinus, all development is envelopment."
Now remember Ken's position as outlined in Spectrum is that the immanent
However Plotinus is implying a parallel process of realization - through psychological growth - of the immanent (as well as the transcendent aspect)
In this Chapter Ken gives every indication of concurring with this position of Plotinus.
However it is inconsistent with his stated position in the Preface to "Spectrum" where "in its immanent aspects Spirit simply IS"
Of course the problem from the start has been Ken’s failure to appreciate that Spirit has transcendent and immanent aspects both in terms of its Absolute ever-present nature and also its relative expression through the process of experiential growth.
Even if we take this last interpretation of Plotinus as representing a more tenable viewpoint, it still is unbalanced in that it fails to recognize the dynamic bi-directional nature of transcendence and immanence in experience. In fact as I will shortly explain, Ken in adopting a strictly top-down approach, confuses immanence with the transcendent aspect of integration.
So we have again a variety of positions (articulated and implied) which remain incomplete and are in no way properly consistent with each other. Quite simply, Ken's attempt to cover all angles lacks coherence and integration.
The resolution of such problems of translation requires the proper incorporation of integral (circular) bi-directional notions.
Spirit in its essential nature is Absolute with both immanent and transcendent aspects (which is the paradoxical dualistic attempt to represent Spirit).2
The realization of Spirit in phenomenal terms has two complementary aspects (immanence and transcendence), which are mutually related throughout development (though the balance can vary considerably at any particular stage).
We move from linear (differential) to circular (integral) notions through recognizing the mirror view of every dualistic interpretation.
The transition to nondual interpretation then comes from the experiential dynamics through which these opposite perspectives are reconciled.
So if we take Ken's demonstration in "The Marriage of Sense and Soul" of A as the first stage, in bi-directional terms it is balanced by - A (For example, each stage has exterior and interior aspects which are opposite). The integral interpretation then combines both complementary aspects in dynamic terms (A - A = 0)
Likewise A + B (as the second stage) is balanced by - A - B. Thus all phenomenal representations are balanced by a corresponding mirror interpretation.
So Spirit is not identified with these representations (as in Ken' approach). Rather
the dynamic transformation to Spirit is indirectly represented by the bi-directional relationship between both sets of asymmetric interpretations. Thus Spirit is consistently represented as 0 (symbolizing Emptiness throughout).
The linear (dualistic) perspective leading to the view that Spirit (solely) unfolds, arises from separating poles which are ultimately identical (i.e. transcendence and immanence).
We gradually move away from this dualistic perspective with "higher" development through circular interpretation (representing the interdependence of both aspects).
So from one perspective, Spirit is seen as "higher". Then from the complementary opposite perspective it is seen as "lower". Both of those are bi-directionally related in circular terms leading to transformed nondual interpretation. As rigidity in understanding is reduced, the linear tendency to rest in phenomena is greatly eroded. When the line diameter of a circle steadily shrinks, ultimately it reaches a non-dimensional point at the center (where circle and line are identical). In like manner – when translated in holistic mathematical terms - in the dynamics of experience, one moves to pure spiritual realization through the growing interaction of bi-directional linear and circular notions (so that phenomenal rigidity steadily is eroded). Ultimately this culminates in a spiritual "point" at the center of being which reconciles form and emptiness.
(In linear terms opposite positions are understood as separate; in circular terms as interdependent).
Once again this bi-directional appreciation, which is greatly missing from Ken Wilber's approach, is vital for an integral - as opposed to a merely differentiated - understanding.
When we attempt to approach integration in a merely linear manner (which typifies Ken's asymmetrical approach) we inevitably keep coming down in favor of one side of an arbitrary polarity.
This then leads to inconsistency and a piecemeal attempt at later correction where various positions are offered without any overall coherent rationale.
I have always found Ken's treatment of immanence to be especially unsatisfactory. This ultimately relates to a misleading attempt to initially identify immanence with the Absolute nature of Spirit without recognizing that the process of realization of the immanent aspect - as well as the transcendent - necessarily enfolds (and enfolds) with development (and envelopment).
So whereas Spirit in its essential nature - as the ground and goal of all phenomena - is absolutely present at every moment, the realization of this truth clearly is not always fully present and only unfolds (and enfolds) - as with transcendence - through the process of experiential growth.
If we take Ken's later position on Ascent and Descent seriously then we have to accept that it implies that the immanent aspect likewise unfolds throughout development.
However insofar as Ken recognizes the immanent dimension in its relative context, it is confused with transcendence.
For Ken the process of Descent is understood in linear terms in a top-down approach. Integration takes place from the perspective of the "higher" stage (but not from the "lower"). However this is simply defining integration in transcendent terms and then confusing it with immanence.
Properly speaking the transcendent Ascent - in Ken's account - relates to the differentiation of the "higher" stages; integration in this context then relates to the Descent whereby one attempts to embrace the "lower" stages from this "higher" perspective. However this is not immanence; rather it is the transcendent aspect of integration.
It might be helpful to illustrate the importance of this distinction with respect to the operation of conop and formop (which are so important to scientific understanding).
From Ken's perspective, the "lower" conop is transcended and included in the "higher" formop stage. However this is only a half-truth. Conop is included in a qualitative sense in formop (as the conceptual appreciation of sequential asymmetrical relationships). However conop is thereby excluded in terms of its - previously limited - quantitative aspect (where relationships are identified in specific concrete terms).
So the interaction of these structures works both ways. Formop is defined with respect to conop; conop is equally now defined with respect to formop so that change necessarily takes place with respect to both structures.
Likewise integration takes place between these structures in two related ways. After differentiating formop from conop (and conop from formop), we can attempt to integrate from both perspectives.
The transcendent approach to integration (in this context) operates in a top-down manner.
Here one attempts to explain "lower" data from the perspective of the "higher" concepts. This essentially represents the theoretical (deductive) approach to science. The (whole) concepts are now primary as we interpret the "lower" (part) data as transcended and included in the "higher" (whole) concepts.
However equally we can attempt to integrate from the "lower" conop perspective where we use the empirical "lower" (part) data to suggest the nature of "higher" (whole) concepts, which then can properly organize the data. Here the "higher" (whole) concepts are made immanent and thereby included in the "lower" part data. This represents the empirical (inductive) approach to science.
It is ironic in this context that the process by which Ken discovered his four quadrants was of this latter inductive kind. In other words the (whole) conceptual explanation of the four quadrants was immanent in the wealth of empirical (part) data which Ken collected. However a (mere) "transcend and include" holarchical model does not accurately explain the nature of this realization.
So again a major limitation of Ken's "stages" approach is that he attempts to explain holarchical development as an asymmetrical sequence (solely) in "transcend and include" terms.
However in dynamic terms, development has a "transcend and exclude" aspect;
Likewise development has an "immanent and include" and also an "immanent and exclude" aspect. And these aspects are truly relative, continually switching between each other as dynamic interaction occurs.
The implication of this, is that differentiation in development takes place in a - relatively - backward as well as a forward manner. Thus with the emergence of new structures, previous structures necessarily change.
In similar fashion, integration takes place in both a backward (top-down) and forward (bottom-up) manner.
So if one identifies transcendence with the progressive evolution of stages, then differentiation will take place in a forward manner (bottom-up) and integration backward (top-down).
From this perspective, the differentiation of the immanent aspect will then take place in a backward manner (top-down) and integration forward (i.e. bottom-up).
However if one now shifts the frame of reference and identifies immanence with the progressive evolution of stages, then differentiation will take place in forward manner (bottom-up) and integration backward (top-down).
From this equally valid opposite perspective, the differentiation of the transcendent aspect will take place in a backward manner (top-down) and integration forward (i.e. bottom-up).
So again with differentiation and integration (in both directions) the nature of stages continually changes. One implication of this dynamic interpretation is that "prepersonal" stages are continually altered throughout development. So in dynamic terms, we maintain a continuous - rather than discrete - interpretation of stages, so that the "lowest" prepersonal is only properly completed with the "highest" transpersonal development.
Ken's rather discrete way of delineating stages is thus very much at variance with this dynamic interpretation. 3
So to conclude, insofar as Ken recognizes the immanent dimension in the process of development - for which he never provides a clear statement - he confuses it with the integral aspect of transcendence (which in turn he attempts to explain in a misleading one-directional fashion).
This is not of an incidental nature for it vitally affects the very way we translate and interpret all stages of development.
I could go on in great detail dealing with many of Ray's individual points. However it would contribute little. I do not see his interpretation as accurately representing Ken's approach. Furthermore there is little point in addressing criticism using an inaccurate interpretation of Ken's frame of reference as a basis for criticizing mine, when my central point is that Ken’s frame is quite inadequate from an integral perspective.
1. Once again the dynamic translation of the Spectrum is based on defining polar opposites in three distinctive ways (as horizontal, vertical and diagonal) and according to two logical systems
So with L3 the "lowest" level (archaic), linear differentiation takes place primarily at a diagonal level of polarity (i.e. in distinguishing form from emptiness). Here confused circular bi-directional interpretation remains in relation to vertical (whole/part) and horizontal (exterior/interior) polarities. This confusion can only be properly unraveled at the corresponding "higher" level of H3 where mature circular bi-directional mastery in relation to all sets of polarities is obtained.
One important implication of this is that an intellectual translation based on a (merely) linear either/or manner of earliest infant development leads to considerable inaccuracy.
Ken Wilber’s attempted rationalization of his pre/trans fallacy is based precisely on such a dynamic mistranslation.
With L2 (magic) linear differentiation takes place now also in relation to vertical (whole/part) polarities, with greatly confused bi-directional interpretation remaining in relation to remaining (exterior/interior polarities).
Again it requires the mature understanding of H2 (causal realm) to properly unravel the confusion of L2.
With L1 (mythic), there is now gradual linear differentiation in relation to remaining horizontal polarities.
Again the understanding of H1 is required to properly interpret L1.
The middle level (rational) – what I refer to as L0,H0 (as it lies between "lower" and "higher") entails the specialized differentiation of linear understanding (especially as regards the cognitive aspect).
Here - in formal terms - circular bi-directional understanding plays no role.
Most conventional intellectual interpretation is thus greatly limited by the fact that it imposes a one-sided linear interpretation on all levels of reality.
The "higher" levels start with linear differentiation in relation to all three sets of polarities gradually developing circular bi-directional understanding in mature form (which properly befits integration).
H1 (the subtle realm) entails mature circular bi-directional appreciation of horizontal polarities (e.g. exterior/interior) within a given level. (Rigid) linear understanding still remains in relation to other polarities.
H2 (the causal realm) entails mature circular bi-directional interpretation in relation to vertical (whole/part) polarities operating between levels. Rigid linear understanding still remains in relation to remaining diagonal polarities (e.g. form and emptiness).
H3 (what I refer to as the null level) entails mature bi-directional understanding in relation to remaining diagonal polarities. Specialized contemplative experience is now obtained culminating in what I misleadingly referred to as nondual reality.
Radial reality entails the mature interaction of both linear (differentiated) and circular (integrated) understanding.
With R1, there is some rigidity remaining in terms of this interaction. In other words contemplation is not fully incorporated with phenomenal activity.
With R2 the fullest interpenetration in mature manner of activity with contemplation is approached.
The "Theory of Everything" can equally be used to define transitions between levels, sub-levels, directions, stages, phases and personality aspects of development.
Therefore the structure of reality (psychological and
physical) in dynamic terms can be defined in a very detailed and precise
scientific manner using holistic mathematical notions.
2. We could equally emphasize the paradoxical both/and
logic in aphophatic terms i.e. that Spirit is neither immanent nor transcendent
which is simply the dualistic attempt to convey that any attempted labeling
of the ineffable nature of Spirit is inadequate.
3. It is important to remember that "higher" and "lower" have - in dynamic terms - a purely relative meaning. What is "higher" from a transcendent is - relatively - "lower" from an immanent perspective.