Visualizations of Connections

Hi guys,

Trying the forum out…I came across these visualizations today and thought how it might relate to our journey with Gebser, especially the one called ‘map of science’. I can appreciate the central, dense, connections that philosophy, sociology play as well as the other related disciplines. I know that Gebser himself ranged far and wide in his own study which makes him such a ground breaking individual.

Here is the link:

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Very cool. Thanks for sharing. It’s worth mentioning, perhaps, that Wilber refers to Gebser’s “integral-aperspectival” structure as “vision-logic” or network logic—which is partly defined by the ability to see larger patterns and webs of interconnection, not just from one node (or perspective) in the network, but from the vantage of the a-perspectival whole.

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nice~ (vision or network logic. interconnectivity) Indra’s net~

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Can the a-perspectival whole actually have a vantage? Wouldn’t any vantage have a perspective?
To put it another way, how does the aperspectival whole avoid setting itself up as privileged over the individual nodes/perspectives in the network? That after all is the dominant paradigm of our age and the one driving massive inequality.

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I understand the aperspectival as what Martin Buber defined as an awareness of the “I and Thou”…
It is Jung’s Individuation on a collective level. An awareness of our unique “I-ness” combined with a simultaneous awareness of our collective/connectedness.
Somewhere between the unperspectival (collective) and the persoectival (individualist), although Gebser makes clear that it is NOT a Hegelian synthesis arising from the other two.
it is important to remember that “wholeness” is illusory too. there is no such thing… it remains forever on the horizon, somewhere out ahead of us. we are always becoming.
my last thought is, yes. there will be another level of consciousness beyond the Integral/aperspectival, just not likely in our lifetime.

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@madrush I’m curious, do you know if Wilber came up with the term ‘vision-logic’ himself, or if he is pulling it from another source. I’ve been wondering about the specifics of the meaning of ‘vision-logic’ for years, but haven’t been able to figure out it’s original source. Thanks!

@jessicayogini From my understanding of Gebser, the aperspectival wouldn’t be a vantage point, in and of itself, but the transparent ground (the empty containerless container) that all forms of manifestation (vantage point, or otherwise) appear and disappear into. So, in the sense of exclusive validity (at least), it wouldn’t be privileged because it includes all other valid values in their ‘natural’ arrangement and appropriate measure. However, you may mean something else by ‘privileged.’

I’m a a bit unclear about what you are referring to here. What is the 'dominant paradigm of our age driving massive inequality? Are you just speaking of ‘privilege’ in general?

@AriAnnona Again, according to my understanding of Gebser, ‘wholeness’ would only be illusory as a concept, but the perception of it would not be. While we are always becoming, wholeness would be the all-encompassing, all-accepting, emptiness that becoming becomes ‘within.’

While I partially agree with this, I think the confusion here has to do with Gebser conflating two perceptions: ’ aperspectival transparency’ (wholeness) and the ‘Integral consciousness structure.’ In my mind (riffing off Wilber), Integral is a relative consciousnesses structure, and, being relative, new structures can supersede it*, while wholeness is an absolute realization of the groundless ground that all structures manifest ‘in.’

Wholeness, in other-words, is the unconscious archaic origin that gives rise to all other structures and is, according to Gebser, brought to consciousness in the Integral structure as aperspectival transparency. I differ in opinion, slightly, in that I both think that the Integral structure can be realized without perceiving it transparently and that one doesn’t need to be Integral to have a realization of transparent wholeness.


  • I, personally, think we can already see inceptions of post-integral structures, but I’m not sure yet. It could just be Integral fleshing itself out.

hmmm. I appreciate your perspective. not sure that I am in agreement about some ideas/concepts though.
I agree that ‘wholeness’ is an illusory concept, and of course, we can conceptually ‘perceive’ of it as well, but we cannot truly experience it. (like God, we can have an experience that is divine in nature, but that is NOT the divine itself).
Tibetan chods, Ayhuasca journeys, and other ritual practices can provide experiences that contribute to a conceptual understanding of wholeness, but is this an actual experience or perception of the other half of a living/not living whole? I am not certain that it is.
I suppose this entire issue is dependent upon what one means by ‘perception,’ a topic much too complex to discuss in this format really.
Wholeness implies a completion, a state of perfection or ending, a concretization and fixed ‘something’ that has nothing left to be done or finished; something no longer incomplete, lacking, or still “coming into being” because ‘what is,’ and ‘what is arriving’ are at the same already ‘whole’ in and of themselves.
So, as Gebser states, Time either fulfills itself in us (time ends/we end) or we fulfill ourselves in time (times extends out beyond us and we utilize the time we have fruitfully doing the things that actually matter~ we stop wasting time and recognize our mortality…).
I am thinking specifically of Feuersteins work on Gebser as he speaks of ‘transcendence’ verses ‘wholeness.’ transcendence here refers to a consciousness that can expand above and beyond an inability to actually ever conceptually or otherwise reach that mythical state of wholeness~ (the polarity paradox (being/not-being) is always inherent in consciousness and Wholeness proper. )
I do not believe that Wholeness (except as a ‘conceptual understanding’ ) is possible while embodied in this realm of existence. We are always in a state of becoming, and the ever-present origin is the ground of this becoming. it is also the ground (matrix or field) that we return to (as the ancestors), and it is the realm of the sacred dead~ sometimes waiting to be reborn, and sometimes not, (depending upon the tradition) in death as well.
My understanding of Gebser’s aperspectival diaphanity (transparency) is that each human being must come to an understanding of their OWN dominant and repressed structures of consciousness, how each of these structures functions (or doesn’t) within each “individual” consciousness.
THAT is Gebser’s transparency… it has nothing to do with some state of collective consciousness except as it is experienced deeply by each individual, and in this way, the collective experience of it increases. (100th monkey idea).
When we become aware of the truth of our experience as mortal beings (who are going to die someday), we simultaneously become aware of the cults of immortality (beauty) that drive the majority of our beliefs to begin with.
We have a never ending desire for immortality, our desire to remain young and drink the elixir of eternal life from the fountain of youth, is to deny death, particularly in the West (where ancestor cults aren’t really understood or practiced, as these belong more to the archaic, the magical, and the mythical structures of consciousness).
A culture that embodies an integral consciousness would include an awareness of the role that the sacred dead play in the creation of the sacred cosmos (the future), and there would be no distinction between what we do and what our ancestors did for us. (they would represent the same goals and objectives).
Wholeness INCLUDES the archaic origin, the realm of the sacred dead, the realm of non-being that gives rise to being and takes being back into itself, but wholeness also includes every other structure in consciousness (including the mental /rational as well).

“Wholeness, in other-words, is the unconscious archaic origin that gives rise to all other structures and is, according to Gebser, brought to consciousness in the Integral structure as aperspectival transparency.”

Yes. exactly my understanding of it too, except that as an integral consciousness, it is no longer ourobouric, but individuated… (closest to Jung’s idea of Individuation).

Integral consciousness utilizes ALL of the structures available to it in their absolute effective phases in the individual, and eventually in the collective. This transformation of individual consciousness through the process of individuation is the transformation of consciousness that eventually takes place in the collective as well… that is, if we don’t annihilate ourselves first.
At least this is my understanding of Gebser’s ideas.

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I think the aperspectival avoids setting itself up as the privileged paradigm by being absolutely inclusive of all of the others. by allowing all of the other modalities to exist as equally viable states of consciousness (modalities of knowing).

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Exactly! That’s what I was trying to say here:

But, you articulated it, IMHO, much more clearly! Thanks! :smile:

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We tend to privilege the visual system, giving distance and perspective as well as creating the illusion of separation and objectivity. Hence the mental deficicieny of having to label and control and give numbers to everything. My guess is that the Aperspectival would cease to privilege the visual system over the kinesthetic, auditory, gustatory, olfactory .We could like Proust have memories flood us by recalling a taste or a smell. Our senses could re-awaken through the arising of a balanced sense of the physical and transphyscial use of the senses, we would be aware of the interplay and not reduce reality, ( shared reality) to what is measurable. Our imagiinations would be free from Time and free for Time. We would cease to imagine that our relationships are investments that can gather profits in some future negotiation.

. As Colerridge said to the sunset." I see but do not feel how beautiful you are." This split between the visual and the kinesthetic is the basic Cartensian wound which turns life into mechanisms

I have had the direct experience in dream states of watching how the kinesthetic and auditory and visual are slightly out of synch and can open up in ways that are strange and wonderful. In the physical this is less the case, as we are frozen in many ways and addicted to the visual sense. When we can go back and forth on the spectrum of pasts and imagined futures we can appreciate our metaphors and narratives co-emerge and we can I imagine in the Aperspectival take responsibility for mental projections and can stop sliding into the abyss of pre-modern. When we are more aware of our narrativizing then can co-create from a wide range of narrative and lived stories, rather come from frozen myths and reductive theories. We can accept that we live with others who are forever forgetting and remembering just as we are. Memory is a performance, it is not stored in an archive. We can realize metaphor can become fossils and so are more open to fresh metaphors. We begin to think and feel at the same time and re-view which combinations of structures are most appropriate.

If you want to listen to flowers speak it is good to be able to re-activate the four year old. Then you can become an adult and record observations. This happens to all of us already just need to pay attention. Training attention is a very high art and we can, yes we can get better at it.

Neuro atypicals are more prone to this kind openness. They have no commitment to a pre-given subject object divide. Interesting research is ongoing that will shape our collective experience radically in the years ahead, especially as the Internet will enchant and distort our sensory/conceptual interplays.

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yes. that is what I meant wwjimd.
and Johnnydavis! yes. perception shifts away from the purely visual (which is deceptive) to the more embodied forms, which are often much more accurate. we get so much information through the other channels of our awareness.
In the Vedic system, these channels are clearly articulated in connection with the Pancha Maha Bhutus (or five-element theory) that describes the sense organs and senses of action. each is a vital modality for taking in and expressing aspects of perception… the eyes (visual perception) is simply ONE modality, but not even the most important one.
(I grew up with a blind mother so I really think I just learned another way of perceiving the world very early on.)
The psyche, however, cannot distinguish between the real/ the not real (or more accurately between the visible and the invisible) worlds and so perceives everything as real. (only the ego distinguishes between the two).
An aperspectival way of being in the world would rely on older pathways of knowing as much as the masculinized form of consciousness (rational/mental form of knowing).
all of the modalities are necessary to be aperspectival.

and exactly~ proust’s memory of the smell of his mother’s madeleines is crucial.

the one thing I understand differently Johnny is your around comment “We would cease to imagine that our relationships are investments that can gather profits in some future negotiation.”
for ME, this negotiation of relationships is at the CRUX of all human interaction.
that everything is always in an act of balanced reciprocity, (either in the now or in some future interchange)whether we are aware of that or not. and having a broader (aperspectival) understanding allows us to recognize this fact so much more clearly.
we don’t unconsciously mow over other things, beings, ideas simply because we have the privileged modality for doing so. I don’t know. everything is an exchange, hence the early motif of “sacrifice”…
The difference (as expressed in The Revenant) is that we no longer personally or collectively seek to bring justice to the circumstances of our lives… That is not for us to do, it is for something greater than us to bring about. (Karma from a Vedic perspective).
huge ramifications of these ideas… and philosophically paradoxical. IDK.

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Sorry Ari if I got a bit convoluted. I think my comment about relationships as investments came up because I have heard people talk so much that way. I am investing in this relationship, I want a good return on my investment, I don’t want to give up now because I have invested so much time in this relationship. The banking metaphor has become a bit of a fossil. We could also move beyond time is money and the brain is a computer. It has been brought to my attention that the network metaphor may have peaked as well. These metaphors may have had some juice but have grown stale. I am not suggesting we should drop them just be mindful of what is entailed. We can indeed start treating others as an item with a price tag.

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me too~ I probably misinterpreted your idea there. (sorry)
perhaps you simply meant the valuing of people/ things intrinsically rather than for the profits and benefits we think they will bring to us~ :smiley:

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Also @johnnydavis54: language is perhaps the most dynamic aspect of culture, to be sure, but it is, regardless of what fundamentalists (of all flavors) maintain, metaphorical.

What I find interesting is that both the network (technological) and fiscal/economic metaphors have, as you both agree, gone a bit stale, as well they should, but it is worth noting that neither group is very old. What metaphors do tell us, I believe, is something about the state-of-mind of the cultures that use them.

When you read (chronologically speaking) “older” or what we might call, for lack of a less spatial word, “deeper” we find more often metaphors from nature. This is not a specific but rather a general observation, and I thought I’d just throw it in for yucks.

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A very good yuck Mr. Ed!

Yes there are deeper metaphors and there are current and pervasive metaphors of a more shallow sort. Our metaphors are embedded in ongoing naratives and each exchange is drawing upon this vast repertoire of shared understandings.

A personal story.

I once worked in a firm that went into bankruptcy. It failed to meet payroll. The CEO was not found. The VP came into our office to explain the delay and I asked who was running the store? Who is in charge? He said the court was in control. Since I had done research about the courts decision to grant protection if and only if the payroll was met I asked the VP politely if Mr. Hackett was aware of the current decision by management to withhold funds from the staff?

Since I knew that the VP and the CEO were lying to the court they could be held in contempt of court and the business could be closed-if I blew the whistle.

The VP turned pale and stammered something. He left the room. The CEO within minutes entered our office and asked everyone except John to leave.

The CEO asked me," What do you want?"

I said," I don’t want the firm to go out of business. I have many friends that work here. I don’t want to bargain with you. I have bills to pay. I want what is owed to me."

" Will you take a personal check?"

" No," I said," I want cash and a letter of recommendation"

" Be in my office in five minutes."

There is more to this story that I wont go into, this was a pivotal move in my autobiography and it is also a parable with overlapping motifs and background metaphorical constructs that I am still ‘unearthing’.

This is something that it is like to be in a culture that is re-organizing itself through the collusion of and connections made by many actors moving in a vast sea of the undefinable. This would be an example of how ’ culture eats strategy for breakfast’.

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I have a different story. I lost everything in the 2008 debacle, but I won’t go into details here, now. I did not have a) the bargaining chip you had (knowledge? timing? b) the energy or means to pursue the rape that I knew was coming.
In hindsight, I should be really really angry. Instead I am trying to not let this set of circumstances push me into an ugly place, instead, I am moving forward with my life regardless. It is painful difficult, and I am middle aged with no retirement, no job, nothing, except my education. I spent my life being the caretaker in the family (except that I DID pursue my education). MY ONLY hope is that there is some kind of karmic retribution somewhere down the pipe here. I won’t waste my precious life energy fighting a battle that I can never win.
Glad that you were able to negotiate. I’m not that smart apparently. :wink:

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Ari thank you for your story. I also lost everything in the 2008 debacle. The anecdote I shared came out of a dramatic episode that occurred in the mid eighties. I only brought it up to emphasize that by treating others like assets or products or human capital we are perhaps shutting down upon the Aperspectival, a new structure that Gebser is trying to persuade us is a real alternative to our weaved up folly. Our imaginations are powerful.

I have bounced back after three years of unemployment and humiliating set backs. The worst loss was the destruction of four cherished friendships that the downtown in the economy caused to crack up. I lost more than money and security. I discovered that in our socio-economic system that love has a lot to do with how much money you have. That was a very bitter confrontation, that I realize has awakened many of us to the fragile nature of our relationships during these painful transitions. Gebser was no stranger to this kind of chaos and that is probably why we are still working through his magnum opus.My recent good fortune ( I have work that I love, making good money) has a lot to do with serendipity rather than with smarts.

I am delighted by the quality of your writing Ari and your heart mind intelligence radiates warmly. Out of our studies and our commitments I am strangely optimistic that our current struggles are creating the conditions for our liberation. May it be so!

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