By CJ Smith
[Warning: Nerd blogging ahead].
I will be shortly posting the first in a series of attempts to apply an integral calculus of primoridal perspectives to a piece in the blogosphere. I’m not going to comment on the pieces really as such. I’m doing here an archaeology and simply pointing out how anything in particular can arise through an understanding of the Universe (through this interpretative lens) as coming out of perspectives—perspectives that are missed by the persons themselves (authors, researchers, etc.).
This is growing out of my recent reflections about how to do my blogging a little differently. So what follows in these posts will be very experimental, a work in progress.
For background on this idea, see here and (more advanced) here, as well as the link above. The basics is that there are three vectors of analysis: spaces (or persons), modes of being in the world (i.e. perspectives), and dimensions (in Wilber’s language, the quadrants). All three of which perhaps helpfully, perhaps unhelpfully can be noted as 123 (e.g. 1st persons, 1st person perspective/pov, and 1st person dimension).
The Universe (or Multi-verse or Kosmos) consists (and subsists) through the arising of beings-in-relation who take positions relative to one another. By the time of the human being–at least so far as we are aware on this planet–those perspectives can and do become self-reflective through the self-conscious thought and language. The tendency is to confuse the consequences of our self-reflective thought ontologically (i.e. study of being) for the way things are–called “reification” (or “thing-ification”). So that philosophies and cosmologies become constructed on the premise that the universe is made of energy or systems or thoughts or feelings or whatever. All of which ride first and foremost on the prior perspectives (the positions simultaneously partially free and partially conditioned beings take up relative to one another at the same time that those other beings are taking up points of view relative to the first). Reifying the world corrodes innate freedom and innate relationality.
One upshot of this move is that by arguing that perspectives go all the way down as well as up it also opens up a deep connection between the human and other than human forms of life as all consist of 1st persons, 2nd persons, and 3rd persons. Though again those non-human persons or beings need not be thought to have self-reflective thought capacity. They simply only need to be able to take up and resonate/respond to in whatever proto-fashion perspectives of other beings. Even if only at their own level of complexity.
The move to re-perspectivalize or point out where the prior (and largely unconscious) movements/positions are taking place is an attempt to get back as close as we can in thought-language to the moment of the choice so we can locate each other and then have the potential to choose life differently. To start to become cognizant (and attentive) in our moment to moment lives of these choices–both our own and others. The only way to do this is to use language (sometimes abbreviations) as pointers to when (I think) these movements are happening and in what way. But since those are movements of the self/soul, to grasp what I’m pointing at requires in oneself trying to take up various perspectives. To feel what it is like from the interior. That way your exploration becomes an entrance for me, you, and others into a collective inquiry, where my rendering becomes open to potential falsification/critique.
Minus that scenario, it is just another in a series of damn things/ideas after another. This tendency of everyone to just take up spots (how they got there? by what means? by what means do the means arise?) being left completely undiscussed and the camps that inevitably form, the personaes that become locked in, the group-think, the reactivity that it ignites in the blogosphere (particularly) is what I’m increasingly perturbed by. As well as frankly just being completely exhausted and having no interest in just about anything. Before good, bad, intelligent or dumb or whatever else, there is first the arising horizon (the space) of the thought. And it’s here that I need to go somewhere else–even if for a time fairly alone–in order to connect with something of any real meaning/depth for me.
In what follows–I’m still working all this out–I try some different things. Hopefully I will develop into a more consistent pattern of notation. I’m also at times mixing and matching two different views of the Quadrants (the four basic dimensions of any arising moment). One version from Wilber’s, one from Mark Edwards‘. So there won’t be total consistency throughout. I just ran through this post and I’m putting it out there, to see if anyone is interested [ed: probably not :)]. Also while I’ve spent a great deal of time studying perspectives and various notational systems (esp. Wilber’s Integral Mathematics), I can’t say I completely get it 100%. Maybe no one does. So there will undoubtedly by some mistakes and/or disagreements among others who are equally if not more well-versed than I am in this as to how I’m interpreting the data. Some of this is subjective, more art than science. This has been the biggest surprise personally for me in the very limited experiments with this–although if I had been thinking maybe that shouldn’t have come as such a shock. It’s a pleasant surprise nonetheless.
The first post is largely itself from my own first person taking up a predominantly third person point of view relative to the issue at hand–i.e. more analytic. I’m still reflecting deeply, inquiring as to how to apply a similar desire (perspectival construct-aware identity in real-time) from within the realm of my first person dimension. i.e. A phenomenology (“to the things themselves”) of this experience.
But in either format, I need to do that which I’m setting out to accomplish in these posts. i.e. Express both a location (indigo in Wilber’s scheme in the cognitive line called para-mind) and taking up the practice of following the primoridal perspectives-dimensions. Mostly in what Wilber calls a demi-abstractive manner–i.e. as pointer to the taking up (or reflecting on the taking up by others) of perspectives already in play. [For more on Kosmic Address a helpful primer here.]
If it’s not utterly apparent by now, these posts will involve ultra nerd philosophical blogging ahead. Follow at your own peril. Don’t saw I didn’t warn you.