Lexi Neale’s AQAL Cube

I was hoping to get to this a little earlier, but I’ve been very busy recently.  Lexi Neale (whom I have no previous or other contact or knowledge of other than this essay) has written a very intriguing and challenging piece on the Ken Wilber blog offering a pretty radical re-interpretation of AQAL Integral Philosophy.  He calls it the AQAL Cube–versus what he sees as Wilber’s AQAL Square.

Warning:  His essay is heavy-duty intellectually and so will be my response.

I won’t bother trying to summarize his entire essay.  It’s quite sophisticated and deserves to be read a couple of times, think about it.  There’s an enormous amount in there.  I’m just going to jump in.

Neale writes:

Expanding the AQAL domain from Square to Cube may also entail expanding existing definitions, and in the course of this paper I will make every effort to clarify how and why an existing definition could be expanded to embrace the new territory being described. I will also try to preserve existing definitions. For example, the two AQAL Squares of the AQAL Cube will not be given “upper” and “lower” designations, because in AQAL Theory these apply to the quadrants of any AQAL Square.  The two AQAL Squares of the AQAL Cube I will henceforth refer to as “below” and “above”; our possessive or material being below, and our non-possessive or non-material being above; or consciousness structures below, and the identity states inhabiting those structures above; or Empirical Consciousness quadrants below and Intuitive Consciousness quadrants above. These differentiations will be further clarified through the course of the paper.

You may notice here a potential re-metaphysicalizing of Wilber’s post-metaphysical turn.  The distinction between our material being and our non-material knowing is potentially very mistaken.  Namely the subtle knowing self is not non-material.  It is rather a different form of materiality–or rather is both consciousness-materiality.   In fact on this point, Neale seems to be contradicting himself by having a quadrant above–quadrants inherently involve materiality.

So on one hand we may see Neale as basically arguing for a renewed perennial philosophy in light of AQAL theory.  The names so far most associated with that trend in integral world are Frank Visser and Alan Kazlev.  The basic idea is that there are worlds above the gross material.  Again calling it non-material is not helpful.  Referring to layers of materiality would be better.  Wilber’s view on this can be read here where he describes how gross material evolution must evolve so that the higher subtle energies-matter can shine through in this world.  This is part of what he calls post-metaphysics or maybe better is called a deeply immanent this-worldly transcendence.

On the other hand, Neale may be onto something.  But how I think about what he is onto is different than how he sees it.  More on that point in a second.

But first…one of the difficulties with Neale’s works is that he is focused on the Quadrants.  Now this is a fair assessment of Wilber’s work.  Wilber tries I think unfortunately to fit all of the pieces of his theory into the quadrants.  Levels and lines are show inside the quadrants.  And as Neale correctly points out this screws up meditating deeply on the difference between states and structures.  Whenever Wilber does a states/stages distinction he reverts to the Wilber-Combs Lattice which as you will note is not a quadrants view.  Pretty much admitting you can’t fit that into quadrants.  Much less types (which as a result don’t show up in Wilber’s work very much).  And so on.

If however, we take an idea that is in Ken’s work but has largely been neglected–though picked up by Mark Edwards among others–quadrivia, then it can change. [Sidenote: Mark doesn’t use the term quadrivia but it’s essentially interchangeable with Ken’s understanding].

For example Neale writes:

For example, the AQAL Cube would be able to delegate State Stages and Structure Stages their own quadrants, by which to map more accurately their vastly different perspectives, rather than be lines in the same quadrant of the AQAL Square.

The AQAL Cube is not necessary for that distinction.  And saying the states have quadrants is probably I think not helpful.  My preferred method  is to think quadrivia:  take a state and then imagine the four quadrants from that state.  Ken’s ideas of the quadrants is that they are four dimensions of any occasion.  The occasion would be in this case the state and the quadrants the 4 dimensions of that state.

Also Mark Edwards and Daniel O’Connor have both pointed out the mis-identification of perspectives with quadrants in Wilber’s work and have shown how you can separate perspectives (modes of being) and quadrants (dimensions of being) out from one another and then relate them.  Within what by Neale’s terms would still be called an AQAL Square.

I think Lexi has picked up on those points and they are wise ones to pick up on, but one can still have a non-AQAL Square view while still “just” having the quadrants.  The Cube in those regards is not necessary.

In simpler terms, I think a lot of his criticism of the AQAL Square is a legitimate criticism of how Wilber too often tries to squish everything from AQAL into the quadrants with unhelpful results.  A more nuanced take (like O’Connor’s/Edwards’) doesn’t I think have those reductions.

So to come back around to the real question:  what is going on with this Cube and does it contribute anything?  I think it does but I think it does in a way different than the author himself does.


The two central issues to be dealt with here, in the raising of the AQAL Square to AQAL Cube, inevitably have to do with reductionism and “flat-land” in the AQAL Square. First, I attempt to differentiate our gross “Being” from our subtle “Knowing”, or What we are from Who we are. The problem here is that our material Being is empirically self-evident, whereas our non-material Knowing is self-intuitive. In my developing the AQAL Cube model I used my own phenomenological experience to differentiate what I am from who I am. I therefore invite anyone to investigate this approach, especially in Second and Third Tier awareness where the differentiation becomes more and more apparent in both Upper Left quadrants (Empirical and Intuitive). I will go further into the Three Tiers later. I also observed that the Self as identity States is of a different order of consciousness from the Self-sense as cognitive Structures and intelligences, for which purpose I introduce the hypothesis that our awareness operates in two Domains of Consciousness – the Gross Domain of the Empirical Consciousness with its Structures, and the Subtle Domain of the Intuitive Consciousness with its identity States.

The reference to the Third Tier here is really crucial.  Tiers in integral theory are the supposition that in some special cases the move from one level to another is not just an emergent leap of levels (structures) but also a tier-shift.  Like an octave shift.

Clare Graves called the move from pluralistic-green to yellow-holistic a “momentous leap”.  It is a leap not just from one level to another (say in his system blue to orange) but also a tier shift.  From green to yellow (or postmodern to beginning integral) is shifting from 1st Tier to 2nd Tier.

In Wilber’s color system, moving from Turquoise (advanced integral) to Indigo (and later Violet) is the move from 2nd Tier to 3rd Tier.

Here’s something I wrote on this blog in January of 2007:

The Authentic Self, the Third-Tier is somehow the beginning of the Soul/Subtle state become a stage–while still allowing that Soul exists at each any every stage all the way down. That is not confusing Soul as horizontal state-stage at any structure-stage.

The Authentic Self is the language of Andrew Cohen.  It is used to describe the structural level (around violet) in terms of Self-Identity (i.e. 1st person perspective from within that experience) that in some sense is the Soul as a stage.  I argued then–and still do–that Cohen is really the only one consciously seeking to build the Third-Tier.  But since Cohen’s model is really built around the experience of being the Authentic Self (i.e. mostly 1st and 2nd person modes of inquiry) it does not entail a larger vision transcending and including the 2nd tier.

This is what I think Lexi Neale has done.  He’s given the beginning drawing of the Third-Tier in visual form and helped open it out in 3rd person perspective (the over-arching quality to the work comes from this mode of being).  That is quite an accomplishment.  The only comparable person doing similar work I can think of is Joe Perez and his work on Kronos.

But here I think we need the notion of Kosmic Address.  Kosmic Address is a derivative of integral post-metaphysics.  Namely things do not pre-exist but ex-ist (literally “stand out”) only in the world-spaces and world-views in which they arise.  Address-ing any issue then is to find both the location (quadrant, state, type, perspective, etc.) AND the means whereby that occasion is reached.  Or as Wilber says: “the meaning of a statement is the means of its enactment.”

Having done so, any new level then goes about re-translating/re-depicting all lower levels according to its own insights.  And here is where I part (slightly) ways with Neale.  I think he has come into real insight (as he claims and I take him for his word) of the Third-Tier.  This is where the Soul–or what he is calling The Intuitive Consciousness–becomes opened up as a stage/structure.  He’s then re-read then back into the earlier stages of development where that distinction is not yet available.

Wilber says in Integral Spirituality that that earlier features can be said to “sub-sist” (unrecognized) that later “ex-ist” when they arise in worldspaces (p.250 footnote).  The factors of what are considered intrisinic subsisting features are themselves interpreted from the higher stages.  In other words, it’s all heavily dependent on the stage’s own view (both across if you like any its own level and down).

There would likely not be much to reply to in his work from many integral thinkers because the elements he is describing are not arising in that space. I think what Neale has done is re-read the Intuitive Consciousness vs. Empirical Consciousness down through all the earlier stages.  Which is fine I suppose but actually doesn’t arise in those worlds.  And it doesn’t arise in 2nd tier consciousness.  And it need not. Within the 2nd Tier the kinds of nuance Neale is making simply doesn’t arise.  There’s no way to agree/disagree.  It just doesn’t come up on the radar.

Because only in the Third Tier as one identifies with The Authentic Self (Intuitive Consciousness) does one have an identity in which the ego (empirical consciousness) is objectified and therefore seen.   With the nuance of an Edwards/O’Connor kept in mind then, 2nd-tier Integral is not reductionistic.  It’s just what it is.  Like any world-horizon it is limited.  And like any emerging horizon beyond that one it’s enduring insights will be taken up into a different world (as Neale has done with what he calls the Square).

I’m just not sure defining the distinction between the two as one of vertical (higher vs. lower) is an especially helpful one–particularly in the lower than 3rd Tier levels.

Greater depth equals less span.  This is a deep work hence it has very little in the way of span.  The best it can do is come up with a paradigm-injunction to reveal its own worldspace, thereby satisfying the necessities of a Kosmic Address, and begin its process of unpacking the world it reveals.  That’s something to be sure.  It’s deep.  But I keep making the point that 2nd-tier integral (properly understood) is not reductionistic because the kinds of distinctions Neale is making are not necessary to achieve (2nd-tier) integral work in the world.

My experience via Cohen’s work in Enlightened Communication is that the 2nd-tier state/stage distinction begins to breakdown–or rather breakthrough (be transcended)–in the Third Tier.  So I’m not entirely convinced that Neale’s way of distinguishing between structures as the empirical and states as the intuitive identity is the right way to go.  Or at least if it’s going to work it needs to be clarified relative to the higher evolving structures like indigo-violet in Ken’s color scheme.  I think he needs another term than states.  Because again prior to Third Tier I think it is much more helpful to think of states as horizontal to vertical structures.  This accounts for the Mother Theresa syndrome of extremely deep state mysticism combined with a lower level structural value system (i.e. women belong in a subservient position to men).

Otherwise as Lexi says, Ken’s discussion of vertical enlightenment (i.e. highest available structures) and horizontal enlightenment (the state-stage path) and saying integral enlightenment is the combination of the two is redundant.  Neale has to do one of two things (or perhaps both).  Neale’s understanding of enlightenment means he either has to reject people who show state-stage enlightenment (horizontal enlightenment in Ken’s frame) as not enlightened.  Or he has to elevate people to higher structural-stages that they haven’t reached because they clearly show some signs of enlightenment–even if that is coupled with clearly lower levels of structural evolution.  Again the Mother Theresa example.

In Third-Tier Experience (as stage not just state) the state/stage distinction comes differently,  I can appreciate that Neale understands this, but I’m very leery of bringing back in the notion of a Subtle Domain as existing up above material reality.  At least as anything more than simply an urge–a de-metaphysicalized Subtle Domain it would need to be for me.

Though to be fair, maybe Neale is arguing just that:

the Intuitive (Subtle) Domain is not really an entity in itself but is an emerging overlap, a dilating field of reference between the Empirical (Gross) Domain and the Universal Consciousness (Causal) pervading it, or becoming involved in it.

A last point is that in terms of the 24 perspectives (3 persons x 8 perspectives/person), I could use some clarification as to the relation of perspectives (or masks/persona in Neale’s formulation) and other forms of quadratic drawing.  Namely it heavily emphasizes identities.  In 1st person, perspective #5 (Distal Self, Intuitive Me) is how the Intuitive Self sees itself. Instead of the body and behavior of the Imtuitive Self.

Again I would say that is more quadrivia than quadrants–and I’m not sure then the distinction between upper quadrants and lower quadrants is the best way of framing this.  As upper quadrivia versus lower quadrivia—primed to the context of self-identities/persona–then that frame is really genius in my mind.  Otherwise however I think Naale is flirting with the same “bricking” quality in the Third Tier as Wilber’s has in the 2nd.

If they are seen as quadrants (not quadrivia) then there is a real danger here I think of de-materializing, de-socializing trend–a kind of Gnostic heresy.  Just to be clear though this only applies if perspectival persona are taken to be the only form of quadrant drawing.  This part of Neale’s essay is unclear to me.  He might not be doing that.

I think it would help to clarify Identity as the Occasion of Experience and then imagine the Four Quadrants (in both Intuitive and Empirical Versions) as if they were four drawings of identity.  Except normally the quadrants are: Intentional, Behavioral, Cultural, Social Dimensions of Experience.  Not forms of Identity.  To shift to Identity is for me quadrivia–imagining.

Though again Neale does call 1st person Perspective #6 Behavioral Persona.  That might be for me stretching the notion of Persona, but I guess the deeper question (for me) is whether he is equating dimensions of experience with persona.  Or persona as the means whereby all dimensions show up.  If that’s the idea, then I would disagree.  If it’s just one way of sketching it out, then I think it’s very illuminating.

As evidence that he’s thinking of it more in the way I’m discussing there is this:

We can now take a “Whole Cube” approach to any situation, where we can address the Four Quadrants on each of the six directional faces to take a more comprehensive directional bias:  Not only the Intuitive Identities Quadrants and Empirical Structures Quadrants, but also the Individual Quadrants, the Collective Quadrants, the Subjective Quadrants, and the Objective Quadrants, as shown in Figure 11.

Again, as Neale says in the beginning this is a beginning sketch and therefore everything can’t be fleshed out, so I want to give him space for that.  But it’s interesting that in one way he talks about the Intuitive as higher/above and the Empirical as lower/below and yet puts both of them on the same Cube thereby relativizing (if I understand it rightly) the whole higher/lower thing.  As he says the distinction (according to his pov) between the states considered horizontal and the stages considered vertical is meaningless.  If so, does that undercut his own higher/lower schema relative to the Intuitive/Empirical Domains?  I ask because creating the higher/lower distinction will tend towards a view I think whereby the empirical is basically controlled by the Intuitive.  He uses the metaphor of car (empirical) and Driver (Intuitive).  I’m not sure that’s the right analogy–except in the experience of awakening to Third tier Consciousness.

But again there’s other elements of what he has to say that would undercut his own analogy, e.g.:

From moment to moment on any binary-perspective lattice, one of the two octants can be preferentially dominant; meaning that we can also take a reversed perspective, including a reversed Self perspective, when the dominant pole as witnessing “subject” becomes the recessive pole as witnessed “object”. For example, Soul-as-witness (first person Intuitive Upper Left, turquoise altitude) prehending or engaging a recessive pole such as Lower Mind (first person Empirical Upper Left, red altitude), while selflessly chopping wood, can be reversed as Lower Mind prehending Soul in a sudden insight of awesome power. For that same lattice-coordinate the two reversed perspectives produce a totally different experience.

That is I think a very profound articulation. Still it could be right but only in the space which it is right.

Also I wonder if he needs to be careful I think to talk about the two poles as witnessing/witnessed.  What about dialog? Maybe giving and receiving is better?

What I’m saying is that I think in order to translate this work down to 2nd Tier requires using quadrivia and talking about it “as if” there were four upper quadrants (qua quadrivia) and four lower.  That can be done from within the 2nd Tier.  I think in a sense he is already doing that–it’s latent in the language.  As in 2nd person #6:

Although not linguistically differentiated from the Second Person Empirical Self, it implies relating to the behavior of another person.

Neale describes this as the Three Persons but he’s really doing Perspectives–i.e. modes of taking up positions relative to other beings.  “Relating to the behavior of another person” means the 1st person the one doing the relating approaches (via 2nd person perspective, in this case in Neale’s language in empirical domains) to the upper-right behavior of another (2nd person relative to the 1st person doing the acting but from within his/her own perspective, the first person being approached by another, 2nd person to that 1st person).

Again I think more perspectives and quadrivia than persons and quadrants. Again though his work is very subtle and discriminating and both are there.

The last point I want to make which to me is the central insight of the work involves what drives the formation of Tiers–and why I made all this fuss about 3rd Tier versus 2nd Tier in the first place.

In the First Tier, the Intuitive identity States are fused with the Empirical Structures they inhabit, resulting in identifying with Gross Domain materiality, mortality and survival. In Second Tier the Intuitive awareness learns to differentiate from the Empirical Domain as Subtle awareness, resulting in differentiating a spiritual identity. Even though the Integral Level of awareness is indigo in Third Tier, the true integration of the Empirical and Intuitive Domains in Universal Consciousness is not completed until ultra violet in the Enlightenment process. I therefore propose that the three phases as the fusion, then the differentiation, and finally the integration of the two Domains define the three Tiers. This would suggest that one strategy to help nourish the entire Spectrum would be to encourage the discussion of the Intuitive Domain of Consciousness.

Second-tier in other words differentiates states and stages and then relates them via the Wilber-Combs Lattice.  Third-tier as I said before in some ways moves beyond that (re-integrates).

But here again I have a slight disagreement with Neale (again I think).  I think he is treating the levels in Wilber’s spectrum as an already essentially built structure.  Again there are some (for me) worrying tendencies towards a re-metaphysicalizing.   As Wilber says what we know draw as the level violet to ultra-violet may in the future become built as multiple stages.

They really aren’t there.  Yet.  And to the degree they are in an individual they are very deep but very thin.  Plus they have no technological-social-behavioral-cultural matrix upon which to manifest those tendencies at this point in Kosmic development.

Still, this point about how the Tiers evolve I think is a stunning insight.  It also seems to me not necessary to have to accept the idea of 2 planes (Empirical and Intuitive) in order to accept the Tier-driver hypothesis.  States and stages can be subsituted for Empirical and Intuitive.  In the first-tier they are the same.  Or rather since they are fused, they don’t show up at all really.  That was Wilber’s brilliant insight in critiquing Perennial Philosophy.  In 2nd-tier they are differentiated.  In third they shift.  My sense of the shift is that is not (metaphorically) best described as above/below, but that’s a point of debate I’m open on.  What I think is not helpful for sure though is reading that above/below distinction back down through the levels and then critiquing the earlier levels for being “reductionistic” when in reality, it’s more like, that information simply isn’t available in that world.

Published in: on June 23, 2009 at 8:37 pm  Comments (8)  
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  1. Dear ?
    I am overjoyed to read your discriminating and painstaking critique of my AQAL Cube submission. You are the first, other than Ken, to really “grok” my thesis, and where you apparently disagree are in those areas where I would dearly like to have some dialogue. One example is that the Intuitive Domain, although “above” on the Cube, is not heirarchical in relation to the Empirical Domain “below” on the Cube. Both are AQAL; and the Intuitive is merely a full-Spectrum field of referrence employed by the Universal Consciousness, as a full-Spectrum Witness, with which to enter the Empirical Playground.
    Please may we have more discussion?
    Thank you so much. Lexi.

  2. Dear Chris,
    I was overjoyed to read your insightful and painstaking critique of my AQAL Cube post on KW.com. You are the first person other than Ken to really “grok” my thesis. I would really like to dialogue with you in the areas where you apparently disagree, because those are the points needing clarification. For example, their is no hierarchy between the Intuitive Domain “above” on the Cube, and Empirical Domain “below”. Both are AQAL, and the Intuitive is merely a full-Spectrum field of reference, a full-Spectrum Witness, whereby the Universal Consciousness enters the Empirical playground.

    I cannot tell you how much I would like to engage in further discussion with you, for the sake of clarity and a sense of integral relationship.

    Thank you again, Lexi.

  3. Great blog, Chris. One of the things I really appreciate is the recognition that Andrew Cohen is consciously attempting to build third-tier structures and is perhaps the only one really doing this.

    I think Almaas may arguably be doing this as well (see Spacecruiser Inquiry and, in his online glossary, “the evolutionary force” and “the optimizing force.” In places he is dragged down by metaphysics, but I don’t think he is that bad on this issue (see the “Desire for Guidance” section in Spacecruiser Inquiry).

    Lexi, very interesting work. I don’t know enough about it yet to comment, but I plan on studying it a bit more.

    The only other question I have about the blog concerns the matter of separating perspectives and quadrants. It seems to me that Wilber addresses this in the footnote on page 34 in Integral Spirituality and also in the appendix beginning on page 253. Is this not so? It seems to me that he at least could have been more clear about it, though.



  4. I would only add that I believe that Diane Hamilton and Marc Gafni are also developing a third tier teaching. When they were in Vancouver, Gafni was clearly differentiating his approach from Cohen’s, however, in an emphasis on the individual rather than the collective. So I see a contrasting pair of teachings now available to move towards third tier — one that emphasizes the collective and impersonal (2nd person and 3rd person), and the other than emphasizes more the 1st person.

  5. Dear Chris (and David and Durwin, many thanks for entering the dialogue),

    I figured it would be more interesting to engage your critique in this, the open forum of your beautiful site that is so deserving of more exposure. So here goes, point for point, each begining with your quotes:

    “The distinction between our material being and non-material knowing is potentially very mistaken. Namely the subtle knowing self is non-material. It is rather a different form of materiality…”

    I do agree that the two said Domains – Empirical/Gross and Intuitive/Subtle – are of two different orders of materiality, in that they embrace two different orders of phenomena: all phenomena are of Form emerging from the Formless. Nevertheless, the differentiation of these two orders is essential in being able to map Consciousness States relative to their corresponding Consciousness Structures. States and Structures, as Subtle and Gross, are relatively heirarchical in the AQAL Square of Structures; but they are equally AQAL when differentiated by the Cube. Both relative views are valid within the stated context. (Importance of establishing Kosmic Address of both perspectives).

    “Whenever Wilber does a States/Stages distinction he reverts to the Wilber-Combs lattice, which as you will note is not a Quadrants view…”

    I think you actually meant “States/ Structures distinction”, because they both have Stages. Assuming that, the Cube actually gives States and Structures equal AQAL status: the Intuitive Quadrants (States) and the Empirical Quadrants (Structures) are co-existent in evolving through corresponding Stages. The Wilber Combs lattice (one of many) features on the third-person AQAL Cube between the Empirical Upper Left and Intuitive Upper Left Quadrants. They are BOTH Quadrants because they differentiate two fundamental perspectives in two fundamentally different Domains of Consciousness; perspectives that differentiate the Intuitive Self identity as State from the Empirical Self identity as Structure at a co-existent Stage (Level). Neither of them become Quadrivia until supplied with a perspectival context, when the Quadrants are then applied specifically to that context as Quadrivia.

    Pease get back to me if this needs clarification. This is where you come in David, with your refs to Ken’s IS. The Intuitive and Empirical perspectives are both “views through”, and therefore Quadrants. Both the Intuitive and Empirical perspectives are of the subject, and therefore Quadrants; and they both form Quadrivia when viewing an object, such as the Intuitive Self viewing itself as the Intuitive Persona.

    “I think he has come into real insight (as he claims, and I take him for his word) of Third Tier. This is where Soul – or what he is calling the Intuitive Consciousness – becomes opened up as a Stage/Structure”.

    I use the term Soul to denote a specific Level of the Intuitve Proximate Self identitiy (“Intuitive “I”) as a State Stage corresponding to Blue and Indigo on Ken’s Spectrum. Its corresponding Structure Stage identity “ex-ists” as the Empirical Self at Visionary and Integral also corresponding to Blue and Indigo.
    This being the case, the Soul Stage perspective actually opens up the Second Tier – our capacity to differentiate from our materiality of First Tier. When Soul does actually open up to no longer being the One True Knower, but a mere Means of Knowing, then we Stage shift to Third Tier in identifying with the One True Knower as Supreme Witness.

    Hope this clarifies things a little. Let me know.

    Warm regards, Lexi.

  6. Chris also emailed me with three more observations:

    1. The AQAL Cube as I present it serves the occasion of of “Identities”, which surely is only one of a “potential multitude” of other occasions?

    Yes. The three basic Cubes serve: all first person occasions; all second person occasions; and all third person occasions. All first person occasions are, by definition, of the Self-system and its assumed identities. “The “potential multitude” is to be found in the second and third person Cubes; remembering that each octant is a “telephone cable” of Lines, only a few of which have been yet differentiated. Hence the “tip of the icecube” reference.

    2. Is the Cube drawn in the sense of Ken’s Quadrants picture?

    Yes. In fact it is only a Cube because it adds four additional perspective Quadrants that are absent from the AQAL Square; absent because it failed to differentiate the 4 Quadrants of Consciousness (above) inhabiting their corresponding Structures (below). Each gross Structure through the Quadrants is formed/inhabited by its counterpart subtle State, throughout the three persons. Also, any Stage (Level) in any Quadrant has counterpart Stages in other Quadrant, as tetra-arising in the Square, or octo-arising in the Cube. For example, with the first-person Intuitive Self identity (Intuitive Upper Left), a Self-stage (say Ego) has its counterpart Intuitive Persona behavioral identity (Intuitive Upper Right) as the Ego-centric Persona.

    3. The 2nd person is not so much a personal objective view of the Kosmos as a relationship with the Kosmos.

    Partly yes. This is a relate – ivity issue between subject and object. The 2nd person perspective is in fact a Self-system’s objective view relating, and relative, to another Self-system’s objective view. “Relationship” in the 2nd person is between first person perspectives as relative objects to each other.

    4. Lastly, is there a way to draw a Cube without relating to pronouns and identities?

    Yes. In my Part 2 followup I pursue the AQAL Cube as a philosophical model, where I deal with it in terms of Integral Life Practice – the other side of the coin to theory. It is a more user-friendly view with applications of the AQAL Cube, and a long, strong cultural history to go with it.

    Looking forward to more dialogue, as always,


  7. I just listened to the first two parts of the Integral Life dialogue on Unique Self with KW, Sally Kempton and Marc Gafni. I would be interested in how each of you, Chris and Lexi, might respond to this teaching and related to your cube, Lexi, and Cohen’s authentic self teaching, Chris.

  8. Thanks, Durwin, for directing me to that really interesting discussion.

    As Ken said a long time ago – everyone is right! Meaning everyone has a valid (validity) claim to their experience; and this discussion is a classic example of attempting to describe the various paths and corresponding views up the Mountain. All good stuff. Such as the relationship between the drop and the Ocean.

    I have one thing to add to that: the drop not only can slip into the Ocean, but the Ocean can also slip into the drop. The latter is really the core of their discussion, which is about the non-dual perspective of being incarnately and individually alive, while at the same time being merged with the Supreme Witness. For me, both views are not two, and that is the core of the Enlightenment experience.

    My second impression of the discussion is that there was no map of the Mountain, and the resulting dificulty in being able to see your path and your view from the Mountain relative to the persons you cannot see, but are in radio contact with.

    To answer your question, Durwin, of how the discussion relates to the AQAL Cube is quite simply – they needed that map! (Which is also bullshit, because there is also no need of a map in a terrain that unfolds in perfect accordance to our progress.) Nevertheless, the map that they did not have for that discussion, and which Integral Theory does not have either, is the first-person AQAL Cube of the eight first-person octant perspectives. In that first-person Cube, all the differentiations between Self-as-AQAL Witness, Persona, personalities, and everything else in that discussion that pertained to lesser or greater Self States and Structures through all the Stages, they are all mapped on the first-person AQAL Cube (remembering of course that each octant is really a telephone cable of Lines, many of which have not yet been differentiated!).

    I suggest you take another look at my brief description of each of the eight first-person AQAL Cube perspectives (taken through 4 representative Levels of Red, Orange, Blue/Turquoise and Violet), and then let us know how you think they might have helped in the Unique Self debate. People need to know this.

    Thanks for your invaluable participation, Durwin!

    Love and Joy, Lexi.

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