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The result would be an esoteric integral wikipedia type format, in which equal weight is given to both scientific-empirical and non-physicalist perspectives and insights. Point 4 determines everything. If you look at the world through secular eyes, you will only accepot those things taht correspond to that paradigm, just as a fundamentalist, for example, will only accept those elements of science that agree with or do not threaten his own belief-system, but reject the rest.
In the same way, in order to create a truely integral worldview, we need a broader, wider, more receptive awareness. Point 5, a new moral perspective, is shown by the environmental Greens movement, animal liberation Singer , the "alterglobalisation" movement, and consideration for the rights of all humans and non-humans, not just the ruling social class. Point 6 is illustrated by the Integral Yoga of Sri Aurobindo, in which all faculties of one's being - physicall, vital, mental, psychic, and spiritual, are developed.
In this it is very similar to the Gurdjieff-Ouspensky Fourth Way which develops simultaneously the "moving", emotional, and intellectual centers , except that it is explained more clearly, and involves a Divine Transformation absent in the Gurdjieff tradition. The beginnings of point 7 might be said to be represented by various "new age" spiritual centers such as Auroville, Findhorn, and Lindisfarne, but this is still only the beginning. For ultimately the transformation has to go beyond these isolated centers to reach a wider consciousness, and this will never happen while information is centralised in the hands of monolithic media corporations, exoteric religious instiuitutions, and totalitarian regimes and lowest common denominator democracies.
The Internet and the birth of decentralised virtual communities constitutes perhaps the best option in which this can take place. Postmodern epistemological critiques argue that knowledge is relative to the individuals perspective. An integral theory of Reality has to incorporate various alternative modes of inquiry, each with their respective advantages and disadvantages.
What one chooses to believe is usually a combination of cultural upbringing and other environmental factors, psychological type, personal experiences and states of consciousness, receptivity to other realities, and empathy or lack of empathy with the insights and exeriences of others. All of which makes for sectarian or ideological; differences. The best thing is to combine them, to emphasies the advantages and get rid of the disadvantages. What is required also is a special methodology based on phenomenology and mystic experience just as science is based on empirical Popperian methodology.
First, a definition of terms:. The following is suggested as basic methodological working principles or assumptions in formulating a new integral paradigm or Theory of Everything. Every datum of experience is worthy of consideration, and should be considered without bias phenomenology. In other words, to begin with, every datum of experience should be considered without " weighting " of the experience.
Because every datum of experience is coloured by earlier experiences, the experiencer's own worldview, and the general expectation setting, an experience that corresponds to those expectations is less remarkable and hence requires negative " weighting " than one that doesn't.
But if a non-western Buddhist or Animist does, that is. Where either the same or a similar datum of experience is independently reported by more than one individual or doctrine, without them both being biased by the same expectation set point 2 above , that lends support to its significance i.
Likewise, where a datum of individual experience corresponds to an event outside the sphere of that individual's consciousness, that also lends support to its significance i. This does not have to refer to secular-materialistic, scientistic, or religionistically agreed upon facts; it could be something like an astrological event. Every explanation including this one is to a greater or lesser degree partial or ideoscyncratic it is biased by the individual or group that formulated it and hence "imperfect" or non- Absolute.
Where there is a contradiction between two explanations , the more inclusive one i. Karl Popper's theory of science Falsification. Where either the same or a similar explanation has arisen two or more times, that lends support to its significance i. Adherence of an individual experience to a particular paradigm or fixed worldview that fits the expectation set should never be considered an argument for that experience's or explanation 's validity.
In fact we should look for experiences that conflict with the paradigm, these are the ones that tell us something about the universe and how reality works. In addition to this we have the two secondary methodologies of Esotericism and Western Science The latter can itself be classified as only one of a potentially inedifinite number of State Specific Sciences , albeit the largest and best established.
Both depend on the primary epistemological phenomenology outlined above for their validity. And in the same way, the various esoteric teachings are generally the doctrinal - even the ossified - formulations of what were originally actual experiences by anonymous yogis and "psychonauts". The exceptions here are those like Rudolph Steiner and Sri Aurobindo who are actually recording their experiences. Even there we can only read about their experiences, their experiences are not real until we participate in the reality they are describing.
Before we we can know anything, we have to know how we know. Hence Epistemology ; the study or science of knowledge. Where to begin? First off, we can leave out belief-systems based on denial of datums of experience. For example Scientism, Naive Naturalism and reductionism denies phenomenological facts of psychic and paranormal experiences, Creationism and Fundamentalism denies empirical facts in the fossil record, radiometric evidence of ancient Earth, etc; both deny mystical and pantheistic experiences.
We can also leave out belief systems that are patently absurd - e. Some good candidates then are Western wisdom, embodied by Plato respected as the main source of Western philosophy and even theology via Augustine etc , Eastern wisdom, represented by Nagarjuna, Shankara, etc based on mystical experience rather than on religious dogma , and modern secular wisdom of Science which has revealed amazing things about how the universe works; in a manner that none of the other systems of knowledge were able to do; hence it deserves our respect.
What do each of these authorities say about knowledge? We find that according to Plato there are four types of knowledge, which from the least to the most reliable is: aesthesis sense-knowledge , doxa opinion , episteme knowledge based on reason , and gnosis spiritual knowledge Obviously, Plato wasn't impressed with evidence of the senses. If we look at Eastern philosophy we find either the trilogy again from least to the most reliable of Illusion Parikalpita or Pratibhasika , Empirical Paratantra or Vyavaharika ; this would be Plato's aesthesis and episteme perhaps , and Absolute Paramartha or Paramarthika , which would seem equivalent to Plato's Gnosis , or at the very least the duality of Realative Samvriti and Absolute Paramarthika.
Science in itself neither supports or denies metaphysics. However one could say that the interpretation of that experience may be correct or incorrect. Although the above is presented in a hierarchy, one could equally say that all forms of knowledge tell us something about reality, even if it is only about relkative reality, or, even more limited, about an incorrect understanding of relatiove reality.
We will return to the subject of hierarchy a dirty word in post-modernism and "politically correct" thinking, although Ken Wilber Wilber , pp. Obviously, one can postulate many more than just three levels, in fact one could even say that every metaphysical reality see following scetion has its own form of knowledge that corresponds to it. But to keep things simple we'll keep it at just three. So, it is suggested here that every datum of experience is valid, but an explanation or belief system that is derived first or second or third or tenth hand from such datums, is either a illusiory, b relative but valid, c points to the Absolute the Absolute itself cannot be conveyed in conceptual terms , or d a coombination of two or all three of the preceeding.
What does it mean to say that every datum of experience is valid, but the explantion may or may not be? According to one physicalist theory, this is a hallucination. The reasoning goes:. Not only is this theory bad logic along the line of assuming that because A is an attribute of x and B is an attribute of x, therefore A must always equal B , but it is falsified by the fact that OBEs out of Body Experience are very similar to NDEs, but these are not triggered by cessation of oxygen supply to the brain. If we look more clearly at the above theory we see it is inspired by a preconceived bias or explanation, which is physicalism.
The scientist or neurologist begins as a physicalist, and that prejudices everything they also have the added hassle of trying to explain or explain away OBEs. So the NDE experience itself as reported by survivors , is a valid experience. But the explanation may not be. The above is an example where there is a clear dichotomy between experience and explanation.
But much more often there is cross contamination between the two point 2 of the Basic Premises. When the born-again person claims to have experienced Jesus, it the explanation isnt necessarily Jesus, even though the experience itself is valid. But the experience is itself coloured by a prioor expectations and prejudices e. This is then taken as "proof" that the experience is valid, the result being a feedback loop. And of course the fact that a Hindu will see Krishna and not Jesus falsifies the experience, but this is conveniently ignored by evangelicals themselves, as it would falsify their entire belief system.
In short, the one rule here should be: include every experience. Even if the experience is a subjective "hallucination" , it still needs to be explained. That is also why those teachings and worldviews that are based on negation - e. If there are facts that don't fit one's theory, it is necessary to expand and develop the theory so that they do, not misinterpret and distort or ignore the facts! Because the terms "state of consciousness" and "altered state of consciousness" have come to be used so vaguely as to be almost meaningless, in the s Charles T.
Tart proposed two new terms, "discrete state of consciousness" d-SoC and "discrete altered state of consciousness" d-ASC as more precise scientific usage Tart , Tart a , Tart A d-SoC is a unique, dynamic pattern or functioning of consciousness, a configuration of psychological structures, an active system of psychological subsystems. Such sbsystems include exteroception, interoception, input-processing, memory, emotions, sense of identity, etc Tart While this pattern will show some variation within a particular d-SoC, the overall pattern and properties remain recognizably the same.
Thus an ordinary d-SoC e. Dreaming, dreamless sleep, hypnosis, meditation, and alcohol and marijuana intoxication are examples of d-ASCs. A d-ASC is any d-SoC that is sufficently different from the d-SoC which is taken as a baseline - usually our ordinary waking state - to have unique properties of its own. It represents a change of some of the component structures or subsystems of consciousness, so that awareness forms a new pattern. The term "Altered" is a descriptive term, with no connotations of being "better" or "worse. Traditionally, Phenomenology is a branch of philosophy "that takes intuitive experience of phenomena what presents itself to us in conscious experience as its starting point and tries to extract the essential features of experiences and the essence of what we experience" Wikipedia.
Husserl replaced the dualism of subject and object with the act of consciousness n. Coming from a western perspective, Husserl saw noesis in terms of the activity of everyday consciousness believing, willing, loving, etc. However, Steve Odin Odin has pointed out some interesting parallels with Hua-Yen Buddhism, in which the noetic or act of consciousness pole is related to prajna, and noematic or content of consciousness is the polarity of figure-ground, form and emptiness see e.
Another eastern development, in this case a merger with Advaita Vedanta, was formulated by Moshe Kroy; there is a good presentation of this in Wilber , although this is not part of the "official position regarding Phenomenology. My own take on phenomenology is even less official. As defined here, Phenomenological Empiricism the double barrelled name is to distinguish it from Husserlian-Heidegger-etc phenomenology is the inquiry into the nature of things by taking all experiences as valid and worthy of study.
This was also Jung's approach, when he followed through his patients experiences and fantasies and came upon the Collective Unconscious. And Moshe Kroy used phenomenology to study psychic phenomenon, as he considered empirical science and orthodox Rhinian parapsychology was totally unsuitable to this task. Indeed, we find that paraspychology is a good example of "the paradigm revolution that failed" I remember reading an article of this name about 25 years ago, but have not been able to locate it using Google; maybe I have the title wrong , after interest and promising results it is no longer considered of any value by the acdemic community.
Instead of a statistical, objectivist-scientific-physicalist approach, a phenomenological-empirical approach can take experiences and states of consciousness as the objects of study. These are authentic items of experience even if the theory or dogma they depend on is obviously wrong. The belief is wrong since all evidence points to a much older universe , but the experience is valid.
So, every experience, every item and element of any one's field of consciousness - be it a thought or emotion, dream, vision, hallucination, whatever - is worthy of consideration and study in itself. And as Charles T Tart points out Tart , Tart a , altered states of consciousness are not necessarily better or worse than the familar baseline waking consciousness.
So we have a sort of "democracy" of experiences, all are of equal validity even if theories and dogmas based on them are not. By talking about experiences in this way, we are still looking at things from a somewhat solipsistic and "head"-orientated level. This needs to be complemented by a participative methodology, in which there is, as John Heron Heron puts it:. This enables a development of a Husserlian style phenomenology, in which every "noema" is itself a "noesis", and vice-versa.
The mind-matter, subject-object, self-other cartesian dualism dissappears and is replaced by a monadology of interacting and interrelated consciousnesses. Metaphysics literally "after not "beyond" physics", pertaining to the arrangement of Aristotle's writings is an often amorphous and misunderstood term that is used in various popular contextes to mean pertaining to non-physical or supra-physical reality. But in terms of Western Philosophy , Metaphysics deals with thorny questions like the relationship between mind or spirit and body the "mind-body problem" , the problem of free will and determinism, the nature of God Theology and of the World Cosmology , the nature of Being Ontology , and so on.
In other words, questions concerning the meaning of existence. Of course, academic philosophers, no longer being part of the original "Wisdom Tradition" of Pythagoras and Plato and Plotinus, cannot really answer these questions, because these questions cannot be answered, proved, or disproved, by rational physical or physicalist means alone. However they do come up with interesting and diverse intellectual arguments, and these can certainly be incorporated into a larger integral worldview. It has also become trendy among academics of scientistic and post-modernist persuasion to debunk metaphysics, because it deals with things that cannot be "proved" by or to the Physical Mind.
But, as already pointed out, so called rationalist physicalism itself rests on a number of unproved, irrational, and yes, metaphysical, assumptions Tart b. The difference between the reductionistic anti-metaphysical , holistic-physicalist post-metaphysical - e. Wilberian , and esoteric-metaphysical positions can be illustrated by means of the following example:. A person reports experiencing transcendent states.
The mystical experiences are associated with the same type of brain waves each time. We thus have two items of data: the phenomenological report of the experience itself, and the scientific data of the accompanying neurological states. Form this there are three possible explanations. Metaphysics traditionally is divided into the fields of Ontology the study of being or existence as such , Theology the study of God or Gods or the Absolute Reality and questions about the divine reality and Universal science or the study of so-called first principles, which underlie all other inquiries.
Although esotericism and occultism are commonly referred to, or refer to themselves, as metaphysics, this is not strictly correct, because metaphysics is very much an intellectual, philosophical, theoretical discipline. This is not to deny there is some overlap, and most esoteric teachings do deal with at least some metaphysical issues. Moreover, because this section does indeed deal with Ontology and Theology, it could be defined as metaphysics, albeit a very esotericy and occultic sort of metaphysics, which would be most unlikely to be accepted within current academia but then, neither would most of this essay.
In formulating a new Metaphysical theory of Reality, there are a number of logical starting points. One can for example begin with the finite individual and explore from there, empirically, psychologically, phenomenologically, and logically, working upwards, downwards, inwards, and outwards. Or one can begin from the unitary Absolute Reality and proceed from that theological, metaphysical and ontological foundation to the world of multiplicity.
Bercause the latter serves as the foundation of the former, I have chosen to present the Absolute first.
But to begin with the relative world see Quadontology would be just as appropriate. Traditionally, the study of the Absolute Reality or Godhead or Absolute Consciousness or Enlightenment in metaphysics falls under the rubric of Theology. However "Theology" refers more specifically to study of the God of a particular monotheistic religion Aristotle's more philosophical use of the term would probably be better but is not widely known.
And this does not apply to things like Enlightenment or Self-Realisation e. Therefore the word Paramology is here used to refer to the study of the nature of the Absolute Reality parame - which means the the Supreme reality in Sanskrit. Hopefully not too clumsy neologism. Of course, we can't really know conceptually and logically what the Absolute is, because the Absolute by its very nature transcends the mind and mental concepts; even though these mental concepts are themselves instruments of mystic teachings.
The Reality Itself is beyond all concepts. But even though we can't understand conceptually, we can get some idea, in a Zen parable finger pointing at the moon sort of way. It is suggested that there are three levels of Understanding what the Absolute Reality is. These are form the highest down "that" or "suchness", "The Absolute", and anthropomorphic "God". At the highest level , words and concepts are left behind, there is only the ineffable, "thatness" or "isness" or "suchness". It can't even be called "that" because that implies something rather than something else; it can't be called the Absolute because that excludes the relative.
This is the via negatia of western Theology and mysticism, the "middle way" of Madyamka Buddhsim shunyata is not this and not its opposite , the paradox at the heart of the Zen koan. And while words and concepts can imperfectly indicate or hint at It, they can never truely describe it. At the middle level episteme , words and concepts can be used to describe the Absolute Reality. And these descriptions are good as long as we don't confuse them for the Reality in Itself. Hhere we are in the realm of metaphysics and esotericism. Now, the various mystical and esoteric traditions of the world are apart from a few dualistic traditions like Samkhya and Gnosticism unanimous in affirming that behind and beyond, including but also transcending, these dualities and polarities, there is the Absolute Reality in Itself.
The description of the Absolute however differs, according to the religion or esoteric tecahing one consults. Others like Ramanuja incorporate elements of both, or, as Sri Aurobindo perceptively suggest, say the the Supreme is beyond limitations of both Personal and Impersonal. A further distinction is to refer to an Unmanifest Absolute on the one hand, and a Manifest or Noetic Absolute on the other.
At the lower level of understanding doxa or mere opinion , the Reality in itself is completely lost and distorted by non-gnostic intellectual or religious philosophical, theological, or anthropomorphic and sectarian concepts of "God". While these may be fine and even useful as allegory and metaphor, it should not be taken literally.
To do so means one is caught up with thoughtforms , and mostly outdated or limited ones at that. This pertains to the "middle level" of understanding , since the higher obviously is beyond words and concepts The Absolute - the Absolute Reality. This term is used by Plotinus to describe the ultimate reality, which he also refers to as The One. Absolute Consciousness - the same as The Absolute Reality; it is suggested here that the Absolute Reality by its very nature must also be Conscious ness , but ina completely non-dual way.
Likewise non-dual consciousness cannot be anything other than an aspect of the Absolute. Absolute Reality - all that is, the ultimate reality, the Absolute , the True nature of things, beyond the partial perspectives of "Godhead" and "Void" - more. Aspect - as defined here, a partial but still totally valid element of a larger Totality. Avatar - an incarnation or descent of the Supreme in physical human or nonhuman form. Consciousness with a capital "C" , totally non-dual awareness, an attribute or aspect of Absolute Consciousness.
Descent - the transformation of a lower hypostasis by a higher one. As used here, the Divine refers to any quasipersonal aspect or activity of the Supreme. Formless - lacking form or characteristics. May be either Impersonal or Quasipersonal , although, as explained in the Buddhist term shunyata , ultimately these terms are meaningless since the Absolute is beyond conceptiual characteristics.
Because of the ambiguity resulting from these three very different definitions, it is recommended that other terms be used for philsophical precison is required. God s - any of the cosmic or Archetypal Personalities of the Supreme. Godhead - a term for the higher aspect of the Divine , which includes but also transcends the Personal. Immanent - pervading creation or the Kosmos. The opposite of transcendent although ultimately the distinction between transcendent and immanent are transcended in the Supreme. Impersonal - lacking characteristics or a Personality aspect, the Buddhist shunyata or Advaitin nirguna brahman.
Logos - as defined here the intelligent activity of a higher hypostasis in or as the hypostasis immediately below it. The aspect of the Absolute Reality that possesses qualities or attributes such as Sachchidananda. See also The Supreme. Noetic - of the nature of Mind or Consciousness, also, an aspect of the Noetic Absolute. Noetic Absolute - term used here as an alternative to Sri Aurobindo's "Supermind" the latter being somewhat ambiguous in English. The dynamic aspect of the Manifest Absolute. Equivalent to "the Logos" in Sufi and some other theologies.
May also be equivalent to the term "God" in the broader sense. Personal - relating to the Individual, having characteristics or a Personality aspect in Vedanta - saguna , the opposite of formless , also the opposite of Impersonal. Personality - the Personal aspect of a Cosmic or Divine being. Quasipersonal - having or taking on Personal aspects or attributes, but not limited or totally defined by them. May include elements of both Personal and Impersonal. In Indian philosophy, these are the qualities and attributes of the Absolute Reality.
Shakti - a or any dynamic or manifesting aspect or activity of Absolute Reality , the Supreme , or the Divine. Shunyata - variously translated as "void", "emptiness", or even "openness"; Buddhist term for that aspect of the Absolute Reality or the Divine that does not possess qualities, or it does these are not apparent to or accessable by the relative consciousness.
The Supreme - term used by Sri Aurobindo to describe the ultimate reality. As defined here, the Supreme refers to any quasipersonal aspect or activity of the Transcendent Manifest Absolute , and especially to the Noetic Absolute. The Supreme in manifestation or activity see shakti experienced in an immanent or personal way can be called the Divine.
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Thought Form - in this context, a human-created mental formation that is a collective response to the actrivity of a Personality. As to this personality aspect, it could be said that a thought form exists and can be created or plugged into - eg Mary, kwan Yin, the personality of God, The Supreme, the ongoing process of the creative aspect, or the void, or anything else.
Transcendent - totally beyond, or else descending into to transform, creation or the Kosmos. The opposite of immanent although ultimately the distinction between transcendent and immanent are transcended in the Supreme. Unmanifest Absolute - the aspect of the Absolute Reality that does not possesses qualities or attributes, and is transcendent in relation to the Kosmos. Note, this is not necessarily the same as Impersonal or Formless - more. Pythagoras and his followers adopted a numerological cosmology, according to which the monad was the first thing that came into existence.
The monad gave rise to the dyad, which in turn gave rise to numbers, and thence points, lines, surfaces, four elements, and finally the cosmos. A similar cosmology is found in the Tao te Ching, where we find that the Tao begat one, the one begat two, the two three, and the three the "ten thousand things". And in Kabbalah, beginning with and especicially in the Sefer Yetzirah , numerological speculations are central to elucidating the nature of the Divine reality. Here I use this sort of numerology progression in a purely allegorical or symbolic way to refer to the hypostases of the Absolute.
It should not be taken as a dogmatic fact, but rather can be used as a metaphor or if not suitable for that, discarded. The One is that same Absolute in which the two aspects which are actually one of Shiva and Shakti, I and This, Absolute Consciousness and Power of the Absolute Consciousness, are in a state of absolute unity and identity incidentally, Plotinus uses the term The One to designate the Absolute. The Three here refers metaphorically to that same Polarised but Unitary Absolute iwhich is now actively manifest hence a third element, tending towards Creation as the Noetic Absolute.
And the Four designates manifest reality, the Kosmos, and its four aspects as expressed in the four-fold ontology. The following pages present a more detailed comparative overview of the Absolute Reality in all its aspects. It is perhaps ultimately futile to try to "prove" this logically I have made an attempt with this philosophical thesis , although it needs revision , and ultimately one has to rely on immediate gnosis and spiritual intuition to appreciate these concepts.
The physical mind left to itself, without being transformed from above, can only appreciate its own ideas and turn around and around with its own proofs and disproves. Intellectually, one cannot prove anything that pertains to the esoteric.
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Which is why I say that a truely integral paradigm has to be grounded on spiritual receptivity and gnosis. Buckminster Fuller famously said "God is a Verb". And apparently the united church now teaches its ministers that god is a process. This all comes from A. Whitheead's Process Theology. Concerning the Supreme as the cosmos in conrtrast to the transcendent Absolute there is an unfolding, doing, aspect to it. Considering the transcendent we can say that "God" isn't a verb but an adjective pointing to the unknowable in Itsef - the Transcendent, the Supreme, The Absolute, the ineffable - rather like the Muslim 99 names of God.
According to the Sufis they represent the original archetypes. But the Activity of these adjectivities, archetypes, godheads, in the world, constitutes the Verb. And all of these interactions are ultimately nothing but the Absolute Reality "I" experiencing Itself "this". It is proposed that a truely integral Unified Map of Existence, which explains and as Ken Wilber would say honours all experiences, interpretations, perspectives, and aspects of Consciousness and the Cosmos, requires not one but four Parameters or States or gradations of consciousness and existence, each of which, it is suggested, has its own dynamic, or ontodynamic.
The term Ontodynamics has been independently coined by Stephen Harrison and myself. As I define it, it refers to the dynamic nature and interelations of being ontos , as opposed to a simple static formulation of koshas, planes, atoms, or whatever. Reality, rather than being static, is a constant process, a "play of consciousness" skt. Beginning with point 1 of the Basic Premises , every datum of experience should be considered without bias, and point 6 , the more inclusive explanation is to be preferred, I have chosen what I feel to be the most inclusive explanation; something that can sympathetically explain every datum, without rejectiong any as "false".
This is the hierarchical ontology theory of being , which has been proposed by a number of universalists, such as Huston Smith Smith and Ken Wilber Wilber , b , etc. Note that I certainly am not saying that hierarchy is all that is. But we can't just say "everything is equal" either, because some things are not equal.
So we begin with hierarchy, more specifically, a Hierarchy of Being note - it is fashionable nowadays in postmodernist academia to reject "hierarchy", along with "metaphysics". As Ken Wilber points out, even those who reject hierarchy still have their own hierarchical values Wilber , pp.
However, when we look at various examples of the hierarchy or "spectrum" or " great chain " of being, we find there is a lot of disagreement regarding its component levels. For example Kashmir Shaivism gives a very different spectrum of being to Theosophy or Kabbalah. Clearly, this explanation is not sufficient to incorporate all datums of experience. It might also be asked - hierarchy of what? The answer is Consciousness. This is a hierarchy of states of consciousness d-SoC in Charles T. Tart's notation , which is the same as saying it is a hierarchy of states of existence, or of being ontology , since it is suggested here that all these can be equated Kashmir Shaivism ref , and Moshe Kroy's Advaitin Phenomenology Wilber These can be termed axiis, or ontoclines or gradiants of being.
There may be more, but this seems to be the minimum required to explain things. Hence the neologism Quadontology - the study logos of the fourfold quad nature of being ontos to describe this particular mapping out of Reality. Note that this is like the rest of this essay not intended as any sort of dogmatic truth, but simply as a working hypothesis. The four hierarchies or ontoclines I propose here are:. Each of these ontoclines correspond in a generic way these things should never be taken dogmatically and turned into procrustean nonsense to one of the primary fields of human endeavour:.
The Levels of Selfhood corresponds to the Spiritual Path ; not literalist or exoteric religion, but yoga, sadhana, and esoteric mystical religion; the essense of self-transformation, and the nature of the knowing Self especially as elaborated in Eastern Philosophy. The science that deals with this can be called Noetics or when consiodering the dynamics of this Monadology The "Vertical" Axis or Planes of Existence corresponds to Esotericism and Occultism with their understanding of the nature of gross and subtle realities, and the ascent of consciousness through levels of existence and exoteric religion to some degree, although here there is a lot of false understanding due to literalism The "Horizontal" Inner-Outer Axis corresponds to Psychology and Mysticism which addresses the depths of the being, and also on a more superficial level to the Arts and the Social Sciences in part with its dicotomy of Mythos and Logos, Imagination and Reason, and to depth and transpersonal psychology.
The term "Endopsychology" is here proposed to distinguish this more "inward" psychology from conventional psychology The "Concentric" Universal-Individual Axis corresponds, on the physical level, to Science especially the systems sciences and natural and applied sciences, also the social sciences in part. On the supraphysical it becomes the domain of esotericism, but the basic principles of interaction, ecology, system dymnamics, chaos theory, and so on.
The overall reality is the esoteric science of Cosmecology , which includes the experiential approach of Astrognosis. One can even create a metaphorical table of correspondences , as follows:. It is important of course not to interpret this too literally; otherwise one becomes trapped by dogmatic thoughtforms. And of course, each of these fields of study can also be applied to the other hierarchies or parameters, which is why it is misleading to only assume a one on one equivalence.
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In the century the philosopher Gottfried Leibniz came up with a metaphysical theory called Monadology after his book of the same name - there are a number of copies on-line: e. These are eternal, individual, mental or spiritual atoms so to speak. There is no such thing as physical space or external objects; rather, each monad experiences the world from its own point of view, and the totality of all those experiences is the universe. However the monads are unable to interact with each other para.
A monadology with similarities to that of Leibniz was independently developed by Ken Wilber, who of course calls his monads holons. For Wilber holons likewise are the only things that exist, are teleological, conscious, and so on. However unlike Leibnitz's monads, Wilber's holons do have "windows" in that they interact with other holons, and they are not "simple" because each holon consists of holons beneath it, and so on to infinity.
And wheras Leibniz solves the problem of the interaction of mind and matter that bedevils Descartes' system, Wilber seems to take a step backwards by intrenching the Cartesian duality of of mind and body interiors and exteriors in his four-quadrant holons. We begin with the monistic understanding that all that exists is the Absolute Reality , which is infinite, eternal, without boundaries see this page for a philosophical thesis on this still needs some work.
According to Kashmir Shaivism, this Absolute contemplates or simply reflects upon, or experiences itself, thus resulting in the thought "I am This" and creating the original duality of Absolute "I" and its power of creation "this , and hence all other polarities and dualities. Everything that exists is a "self" or Aspect or reflection of the Absolute, and there is nothing that is not-Absolute and hence not-Self, then the not-Self includes all other selves apart from one's own Self. Because they are not one's own Self but other selves , they are experienced as "Without" Teilhard or "exteriors" Wilber - the right half of his diagram rather than the "Within" or interior or subjectivity.
This can be represented as follows:. This gives us the " participative paradigm " defined by John Heron Heron and previously referred to. This is the opposite of the depersonalisation and objectification of things that one finds in physicalist-materialist, naive postmodernist relativist, and exoteric religious literalist worldviews. Levels of Selfhood or the self-not-self axis constitutes a distinct ontological parameter, defined by subjectivity and the activity of consciousness noesis-noemata.
It is a central theme in Eastern Philosophy and Phenomenology. Consciousness is here distinguished from Mind and Psyche. Because of a lack of precision in understanding the various aspects and ontological axii, the self-not-self axis is very often usually confused or combined with either or both the "horizontal" inner-outer psychological series psychology , or the physical-spiritual "vertical" series occultism and theosophy.
This confusion arises because the conventional current western religious and philosophical position involves a choice between Materialism including variants such as Judeo-Christian resurrectionism - as they are unable to conceive of a soul apart from the body and some sort of Cartesian, spiritualist, or natural-supernatural religious dualism.
But these materialistic, holistic, or dualistic interpretations ignore all the manifold aspects and dimensions that human consciousness includes. This latter includes both mind and matter; in other words, thoughts are just as much non-self as the physical body. This simple yet profound observation can be confirmed or proved by any decent meditation practice. Thoughts are distinctly experienced as something different from the core-awareness, the "I" or "knower" or "witness" or Self or "non-Self" - i.
The study of consciousness is also considered in Husserlian phenomenology , where the static cartesian subject-object is replaced by the more dynamic polarity of noesis-noemata. In the following ontology, both eastern and phenomenological perspectives are integrated. If noetics shows how enties interact with each other, emanation shows how these entities come about in the first place. I argue for the of the Emanation hypothesis on two grounds: firstly it is a central element in much of the " perennial philosophy " and secondly it provides the only explanation for how things came to be that is not nonsensical craetio ex hihilo or reductionist.
Assuming then taht emanation is a fact much as it contradicts the current physicalist consensus paradigm of the secular West , a number of specific ontological laws or principles would seem to follow. These are listed as follows:. In no way should the above be considered a definitive statement or final explanation. These principles are suggested soley to encourage further thought and debate. We have a long way to go before a truely axiomatic integral theory of everything can be formulated. Essay on Principles of Emanation The emanationist worldview.
The "Vertical" Axis consists of a hierarchy of Planes or Octaves of Existence , an ontological gradation, according to which the Cosmos can be divided "vertically" into a number of worlds or states or gradations of being. This is the conventional " great chain of being " which - while rejected by the contemporary western physicalist consensus reality - forms the basis of most esoteric cosmologies , from Neoplatonism to the present day.
But the concept of a vertical cosmology goes even beyond that, in the universal theme of the vertical world-axis, a cosmic mountain or tree or pole, is a common theme, which is found in Siberian Shamanism, Nordic paganism, and Traditional Hindu and Buddhist cosmography Mt Meru , as well as in sacred architecture such as the Buddhist stupa.
Again, we find the theme, in Tantric iconography and subtle physiology, of the seven chakras , as an ascending series of states of consciousness. With the occult revolution of the 19th Century, the concept of Seven "Planes" of existence was codified by a H.
Following Blavatsky, Aurobindo, and other esoteric teachers, the term "Plane" originally derived from Proclus or "Universe" is here used to designate each of these "vertical" divisions of reality, although this is used interchangably with "reality" and "octave" popularised in this context by Gurdjieff Ouspensky pp. Yet for all this, the concept of chakras remains today the archetypal example of the "vertical" ontocline in the minds of most people, because very few, even in the world of transpersonal psychology, integral studies and alternative academia, are aware of or familar with occult cosmologies as such.
But because "chakras" have been popularised by the New Age movement, and there is an abundance of books on the subject, mostly of a practical exercise manual type, whilst occult cosmology is known to only to those few who study these subjects in greater depth. As an "orientating generalisation" Wilber we can say that the various esoteric teachings all describing the same realities, although in different terms and from a different standpoint Kabbalah for example is theological, Late Neoplatonism and Theosophy are both intellectual and to some degree abstract, and Sri Aurobindo is yogic and practical.
This ontological series is proposed to designate the primary hypostases of the vertical gradation. I have mostly followed, but in no way simply restricted myself to, the teachings of Sri Aurobindo. Because most people obviously are more familar with the physical reality, I begin there and progress up. Note that each of these "planes" - actually octaves or harmonics might be a better term, because "planes" implies a sort of material concept that is inapplicable here - can not only be divided into innumerable subplanes, but also a near infite number of fractal divisions and subharmonics.
Physical : The familiar universe of Form and Matter and energy, physical and mundane consciousness, and embodied existence as well as the more subtle blueprints that reside in the etheric or formative regions. Western knowledge and the physical mind pertain only to the lower or mundane level of the physical , and the "outer aspect of the outer being" of that "dense physical" at that. In this thin slice of reality, all the vast ramifications of modern secular knowledge and the fruits of the physical intellect may be found. Of course, because each Plane or Octave can be subdivided, fractally, into subplanes and subsubplanes as illustrated in the esoterics of Kabbalah, Theon, and Blavatsky, and the psychology of Gurdjieff and Sri Aurobindo , one can still classify modern knowledge esoterically; in fact this would be a similar but, to my mind superior, system to the Four Quadrants of Wilber, and the vMEMES neo- Spiral Dynamics of Wilber and Beck.
The etheric and formative regions meanwhile correspond to paraphysics, alternative healing modalities, auras and the etheric or subtle bodies , orgone energy, Earth energies, Anthroposophy , and other phenomena on the fringes of science, or considered quackery because they don't fit within the secular-reductionistic paradigm that recognises only the material-physical. The following diagram represents a more fine-scale analysis of the Physical, looking at occult realities that are near to the physical, as well as subdivisions of the physical reality itself. Just as stratiography matches up rock strata from all over the world on the basis of similiar geological and mineral composition, fossils, magnetostratigraphy, radiometric dating, and so on, in the same way we can correlate different occult teachings, looking for similarities in sequences, descriptions, type of experiences, and so on.
And as always, these realities should not be thought of as spatial planes, but rather as octaves or resonances repeating fundamental archetypal patterns of conscisousness, modified according to the degree of density or involution. The reasons for the correlations are too detailed to go into here, and will have to be considered separately. Briefly now reviewing the above strata of consciousness this time from the non-physical to the dense material :.
The Spiritual Physical Reality represents a higher octave of the physical. This is referred to by Steiner in great detail, under terms like "Devachen" Steiner and "Spiritland" Steiner It also includes the higher three of Barbara Brennan's human energy fields Brennan , and Rupert Sheldrake's morphogenetic fields. The Astral Physical Reality is often confused with the larger astral universe, but is a more restricted octave of it, the astral in the physical. Once again we find see the above table various correspondences in different occult teachings. The Physical Consciousness represents the various aspects of the physical proper.
Again we find here various subtle bodies taking Brennan as a guide in this matter. This is like the objective physical, but larger and more fluid, more multifaceted. The above three realities or octaves would seem to be waht are referred to by Sri Aurobindo as the "Subtle Physical" ref. In esoteric Islam this is the Imaginal Realm , the Barzakh or the Intermediate World, in which "bodies are spiritualitised and spirits corporalised".
Preface to the English Edition (Arthur G. Zajonc) v
Physical, Chthonic, and Hylic It is also suggested that what most occult teachings call the "physical" is not a level beneath the "etheric", but rather the "outer" aspect or perspective of it, incorporating also the outer perspective of the chthonic and hylic. And while occult and esoteric philosophies often explore those realities above the ordinary physical consciousness, they very rarely consider the levels below the ordinary physical.
Exceptions are the Mother's yoga of the transformation of the body Mother's Agenda , Timothy Leary's psychedelic psychocosmology Leary , Kenneth Grant's Maatian occultism, and although this isn't esotericism depth psychology. However traditional mythocosmologies shamanic, buddhist, etc all speak of levels of existence below the physical world as well as above. But this insight was lost in the western wisdom traditions due to Platonic dualism and Gnostic world-negating spirituality which emphasised only ascent and not descent.
This includes the Astral plane, and above that the Angelic Universes Sri Aurobindo uses the term "Vital", but this is confusing as it can also be applied to the subtle etheric. Many psychic experiences, revelations, religious experiences, and so on, come from here. When we take into account all the fractal and dynamic combinations of the various sub- sub- etc planes and vertical gradautions, and the other three ontological axii we find this is a truely vast region, far more diverse than physical reality.
This is the realm of study of occultism and esotericism. The esoterics give explanations that it can be suggested are either correct or, if false in a literal sense, are at least symbolically true. Theosophy , Shamanism, Hermeticism , and other teachings all present either the theory or the practice of interacting with these realities.
Others, like mediumistic spiritualism, are not recommended because they do not provide safeguards or correct understanding see critiques by Blavatsky. Others again, like exoteric religions, give only distorted or fundamentalist understandings. The following diagram represents a more fine-scale comparison of the Astral Reality. It is suggested that popular concepts like "the Astral Plane" and earlier analyses like Blavatsky's "kama-rupa" only pertain to the lowest subzone, the one closest the physical. The higher regions represent worlds of light and darkness, and eventually higher heavens, as described in mythologies and religions.
This is the region from which rational and rational-intuitive thought and intellect derive. One might postulate here spiritual archetypes which eventually manifest in the Physical universe. This is the macrocosmic equivalemnt of the indidvidual mind or intellect not the emotions, desires, and passions, these pertain to the psychic reality. Because this region is more remote than the everyday consciousness, it is less often acessed or understood.
Translated by E. Goddard and D. Osmond as 'Mystery knowledge and mystery centres'.
Pubs:Rudolf Steiner Press, London ISBN Anthroposophic Press, Hudson, NY. Translated by George Adams as 'Fundamentals of therapy - An extension of the art of healing through spiritual knowledge. Translated as 'Lectures to young doctors' A series of 8 lectures th January and 5 lectures th April given in Dornach. Published as study material only by: The Anthroposophical Medical Association. Copies available from Dr. Zur Therapie und Hygiene. Four lectures given in Stuttgart, 26thth October published as 'The anthroposophical approach to medicine'. Pubs: Anthroposophical Publishing Co.
English Title: An Occult Physiology. Mathematics and Occultism, in Archetype , issue 3, September , pp. Visit the Rudolf Steiner Archive and eLib for bibliographies, bibliographic aids and downloads of other works by Steiner. Elemente der Naturwissenschaft Editor: Dr. Subscription List of contents of back issues. ISSN x. Science Forum This journal appeared in ten issues between the years and when it ceased publication.
Edited by Dr David J. ISSN Box , Santa Barbara, California Tel: Email: jjk silcom. Available from the editor: Dr. Unger, Mathematisch-Physicalisches Institut, Dorneckstr. Articles in Italian and English. First issue, Editor: Sandro Curti. Waldorf Science Newsletter. Edited and Translated by Douglas Miller.
Goethe, Johann Wolfgang. Naturwissenschaftliche Schriften. With introductions footnotes, and comments to the text added by Rudolf Steiner. The introductions are also printed in one volume - see Ref. Zur Morphologie II: Zur Naturwissenschaft im Allgemeinen. Mineralogie und Geologie. Zur Farbenlehre. Paralipomena zur Chromatik. Goethe, J. Exerpt translated in Reference 34 above, page Theory of Colours. Facsimile of the edition in English published by John Murray, London.
MIT Press, Mass. ISBN 1. Bertha Mueller. University of Hawaii Press, Honolulu. Feremy Naydler ed. Floris Books, Edinburgh. Goethe and his scientific approach. Goethe and the sciences: A Reappraisal. Amrine, F. Wheeler, Eds. Cohen and Marx W. Reidel Publishing, Boston. Bortoft, Henri Goethe's Scientific Consciousness. Henri Bortoft.
Lindisfarne Press, Hudson, NY. SUNY Press. Goethe and the scientific tradition', H. Gray, Ronald D. Pubs: Cambridge University Press. Lehrs, Ernst L. Pubs: Rudolf Steiner Press, London, Investigations into the life of nature and man'. Edwards, Lawrence The vortex of life - nature's patterns in space and time.
Pubs: Floris Books, Edinburgh. Edwards, Lawrence Projective geometry - an approach to the secrets of space from the standpoint of artistic and imaginative thought. Ziegler, Renatus. Elemente der Naturwissenschaft 47 2 , Ziegler, R. Newsletter of the Society for the Evolution of Science. Thomas, N. Temple Lodge Publications, London. Adams, G. Whicher, O. George Adams , Physical and Ethereal Spaces.
First Published in German in ISBN 0 Lawrence Edwards Projective Geometry. Angelo Andes Rovida Projective Geometry. Ed: Norman Davidson. Pubs: E. Trans: T. Duporcq date? Hauschka, Rudolf. Pubs: Vittorio Klostermann, Frankfurt am Main. Published by Rudolf Steiner Press, London. Graham Kennish. Julius, Frits H. Verlag Freies Geistesleben, Stuttgart. Translated from the German by Wolfgang Rudolf as 'The world of matter and the education of man chemistry presented by simple phenomena'.
This edition is in German having been translated from Dutch. Kolisko, Eugen Vom ersten Unterricht in der Chemie. Translated by A. Clunies-Ross as 'Elementary chemistry'. First English publication, , in the journal 'The present age'. Pelikan, Wilhelm Sieben metalle. Translated by Charlotte Lebensart as 'The secrets of metals'. Pubs: Anthroposophic Press, New York.
Pubs: see reference Mackensen, M. Klasse - mit Versuchsbeschreibungen. Pubs: Bildungswerk Beruf und Umwelt e. Dietz, Walter Chemie - Ergebnisse aus dem Epochenunterrricht in der 7. Verhulst, Jos Der Glanz von Kopenhagen. Verlag Freies Geistesleben, p. Joachim Schultz. Norman Davidson.
ISBN x. Beitraege zur Rudolf Steiner Gesamtausgabe, Nr. Doppelheft, ISBN Rudolf Steiner und die Gruendung der Weleda. February ISBN 2 - - 43 - 3. First Edition: , Reprinted: Spiritual Science and Electricity. Ernst Lehrs. ISBN 9. Water, Electricity and Health. Alan Hall. Hawthorn Press, Stroud, UK. ISBN 1 94 9. Theodor Schwenk.
Bockenmuhl - Toward a Phenomonology of the Etheric World
ISBN New edition. Floris Books , Edinburgh, UK. Olive Whicher. Temple Lodge, London. ISBN 0 91 0. Embryogenesis in Myth and Science. Thomas J.