ken show 220521

ken show 220521

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00:10
there we are let me pull all this back up thank you let's see here there you are ken wilbur how are you doing man so good to see you good to see you yeah so today uh what we're going to be doing is actually picking up a conversation uh from where we left it off last month um and just to kind of catch everyone up last month what we did was we had an amazing three-hour conversation about integral epistemology right and this was this was really cool
00:41
ken because we actually went through while you went through all the major dozen or so major schools of epistemology right and sort of talked about what their major contributions were what their limitations were and it was such a fascinating conversation and today we have a couple follow-up questions okay um to to sort of add into the mix sure and um i was thinking a couple things couple housekeeping items before we jump into the sort of the main course today um i just want to let people know this is actually really really exciting can when you and i do our next episode
01:13
of the ken show the grace and grit movie will have been released yeah it's coming out on june 4th and um this is this is really really exciting i mean we've been we've been sort of uh waiting for this movie for a very long time it's been a long time coming and i imagine for you it's sort of uh a bittersweet experience seeing this yeah it's interesting um sebastian just recently came up here sebastian siegel who's the
01:44
writer and director of the um film he came up here and brought a copy so i could actually see it for the first time oh great and so we sat and watched it and what was so interesting is that this is a movie about a very intense period of my life and so there are people actually playing me on the screen and people playing treya and all the other people that were
02:15
in our lives and so i thought well this might be a little awkward to have to watch something that like this especially in front of a guy who you know was responsible for a lot of it um but i was really impressed i have to say um the actress that played treya as mena suvari and she was just terrific i thought she hit
02:46
every aspect of treya just right from beginning to end and i thought she really did a terrific job um and the same is true the guy that played me stuart townsend um and so on balance i think it's a really good movie and i i'm not going to be embarrassed at all by having it be out there right um so that's very cool awesome
03:18
well i can't wait to i haven't seen it yet i've had a lot of people ask me assuming that i've seen it that i have some special access and no unfortunately i have no special access to the film um but it sounds amazing i think that uh you know you saying you know the positive things that you've that you've made about it is i mean i can't there's no one more qualified to be to criticize this movie than you so i'm really really happy that you are happy with it um so just to let folks know june 4th it's coming out i believe i hear it's
03:50
going to be streaming on apple tv um i would have to confirm that but that was sort of the word on the street as well as sort of a theater release for the people who are comfortable going to theaters right now right um yeah it's gonna be it's gonna be a big deal and i really can't wait uh to have the next show with you and we can sort of talk about how people are receiving it and how it's getting out there and all that right um so awesome i'm i think we're all very very excited cool and then the second piece is uh you know a bit of a bit of sad news um i just wanted to take a moment to
04:21
appreciate uh our dear friend jumpo kelly roshi who uh about a week ago succumbed to his parkinson's and passed away and uh man this this guy was a legend yeah i mean a brilliant teacher brilliant zen teacher and all around just amazing human being and man his stories are just so funny and rich and insightful and transformative
04:50
and crazy at times so yeah i just wanted to spend a moment just uh to remember one of our uh one of our favorite teachers in the integral right unity you have that little piece i wrote yeah let me actually i can i can dig that up real quick uh let's see here give me half a second which i will edit out in post um here we go all right so this this was uh what you had written ken june poe was an extraordinary human
05:26
being when i was growing up i used to read books about zen buddhism and i always developed a somewhat overblown childish picture of what a zen master was like above all else it was a deeply heroic almost supernatural picture and replete with amazing superhuman traits it was of course a picture no real human being could ever live up to that is until i met june paul roshi he somehow managed to fit perfectly the picture i had formed and why not he was after all representing zen
05:56
which as i would later understand it was a religion that managed to exemplify the very best and deepest of the perennial philosophy which i understood was humanity's hope for a bright and enlightened future but come what may i came to adore the man and he never let me down he was incredibly intelligent deeply caring and compassionate enormously courageous and had a very very deep streak of likability and an outrageous sense of humor and as i happily came to see he embodied the
06:26
deepest and best aspects of zen even matching my childhood images we will all miss him none more than i yeah that's really sweet ken and i just want to you know let folks know that uh a couple years ago several years ago you did uh just an amazing dialogue with june poe which after his passing um i ended up releasing for free people can check that out they can find it on integral life it's called a heartblown open it's also available on our podcast you can go to soundcloud and search for
06:58
everyone is right that's our podcast and all six parts um have been made available for free and again just what an incredible story what a life what a legacy and uh we'll miss you jupo yeah that's great all right well let's jump into it yeah okay so we've got let's see here about five or so questions yeah right and i figured we would start with a big one this is a big one for a lot of people in our audience this is something a lot of people um have a hard time i think wrapping
07:29
their integral minds around right and that's marxism right and basically the question is what role does marxist epistemology play in a larger more comprehensive integral epistemology and i'll just read the question here again sure marxism also known as dialectical materialism continues to exert a tremendous influence in the world both in terms of pro-marxist ideas on the left as well as anti-marxist positions on the right one of the simplest ways to define
08:00
marxist epistemology is the following statement quote examine any alleged state of affairs as related to and distinguished from a total environment and you will know whether or not the sentence alleging that state of affairs is true it's a mouthful what are the positive contributions of marxism that we want to include in a more integral epistemology and what are the unhealthy or negative limitations that we want to avoid right well it's it's interesting because
08:31
when you say total environment then for marxism that means the total material the sum total of material that's surrounding you and one of the problems with that is it's a dialectical materialism so it wants to track the sum total of material as it develops and evolves one of the important things that marxism
09:02
did throughout the world is it kept the developmental view alive because what it did was particularly coming in the wake of hegelianism which marxism wasn't in a sense it said that marx turned hegel on his head which meant that where hegel had all of these geist and spiritual realities stacked on top of the material mark sort of turned it over and had all these material realities
09:34
that were the foundation of everything um the was but what they did do at that particular at that time in our own history is they started to notice historical unfoldings and so marxism particularly was acutely aware of the different stages that the material substratum of civilization had gone through
10:04
and we were using gepser's terms we would call them archaic stage magic stage mythic stage rational pluralistic and integral and marx didn't have exactly those stages but he had ones that were roughly essentially similar and so one of the important points about marx was that they did keep a developmental view alive in the study of history now the only problem with that is when
10:36
you talk about the total environment or we talk about the material environment it's what is the relation of the right hand quadrants to the left-hand quadrants and we'll talk about this as we go on when we talk about for example whereas mathematics and things like that but what's essentially difficult is determining just what mental
11:05
states manifest as material realities because that becomes an important question to ask so if you think for example if what you're going to represent is going to be something that you can see in the behavior of the external material world then you want to make sure that all the important mental realities can be read in an exterior state or else you're going to leave it out so
11:39
just take even maslow's needs physiological safety belongingness self-esteem self-actualization self-transcendence now which of those can you see in the material environment well physiological yes because they're pretty much at the lowest of the great chain sort of matter and itself and material needs hunger food warmth and so on um and
12:10
safety well perhaps you could see safety to some degree belongingness well i can see how you could take some behavioral acts as if they were helping bring together a community and a sort of belongingness but when you start getting the self-esteem let alone self-actualization what are you going to see so if you're not acknowledging that self-actual is part of reality then you're not going to select for it
12:42
at all you're not going to have any parts of society that are acknowledging some of these higher stages which are very difficult to see interiorly anyway how do you actually track that you have a self-actualization going on let alone a self-transcendence so if you can't track those in the world of dialectical materialism then you're going to leave them out and that is unfortunately
13:15
the problem with what marxism does it's where it falls down in what it can actually recognize as being part of the total environment or the part of the total dialectical materialism because if they're like you say if there are any interior realities that don't fit into an obvious behavioral exterior material fashion then you're just going to leave them out and that is unfortunately what happens
13:47
with marx's thought and so it became very very difficult to [Music] include higher interior realities in any marxist culture so when you think about like when the soviet union would produce its exemplars of a high human development they were always athletes and
14:19
they and they were very good at producing and getting a lot of gold medals and the olympics and all of that well you can see what an athlete is doing because it's definitely sort of working with physiological needs and those were the only things that were considered as being a high example of growth in the exterior world so they were great at producing wonderful
14:49
um athletes but not great at producing self-actualized let alone self-transcending individuals and that's a real problem so um the good and the bad the good as i said is that they actually did keep at least a notion of generalized development alive and even though they couldn't track all the higher stages of that in the exterior world they did have a general understanding of
15:22
four or five stages that a civilization went through um they were often just stages that were described in terms of some geo-political exterior location like there was a stage he would call the asian stage of development and the early european stage and then the middle european stage and so on and when he said well what does that mean they would describe the physical
15:55
dimensions of these different cultures but since all four quadrants do go together if you're going to get a lower right physical stage right it's going to have some correspondence with the general left-hand interior stages but if you don't have a clear recognition of what those actual interior stages are then as i said the downside of marxism is that they just get left out there's no way to track exactly
16:28
what you mean and so things like self-esteem self-actualization self-transcendence you just don't find those as any sort of ideal in any marxist culture anywhere in the world um so that's that's a problem the way that i tend to think of marx's thought because basically pretty much every major
16:59
philosophy in existence we have some version of it that's included in the integral stage we talked about that last month when we went through the various types of epistemologies and talked about the limitations of those which we tried to leave out then we talked about the positive aspects which we tried to include so i tend to see marxism as basically a lower right quadrant
17:31
measurement yeah and to the extent that you're tracking the lower right quadrant which is the exterior of collectives so that's the materialism part of it that is an um important segment that you want to include now the way integral defines matter however is this is the second major definition of matter
18:04
that's been used historically and the first definition is if you look at any great chain of being the christian version of the great chain is matter to body to mind the soul the spirit without any exceptions at all every version of the great chain that was created in history matter is the very lowest level of the great chain
18:37
so it's matter and that just means dead in sentient material stuff goes to body which means living biological bodies goes to mind which means concepts images rules and so on it goes to soul which is generally means an illuminated transcendental part of oneself goes to spirit which is the ultimate ground and transcendental highest level of the great chain um so even
19:10
though in those early civilizations let's say 2 000 years ago where they had already discovered things like satori or actual transcendental experiences they could have a satori experience which if you're just looking at the brain since the brain was just thought of as a material
19:40
object then that's fine if they were to put it on a level they would put it on the material level and even though they're having a satori in the upper left which is some sort of even if it's a transcendental spiritual experience they couldn't see that every time they had a satori there were actual changes in the physical brain because they didn't have like
20:13
microscopes um and so if you look at all of the areas that many scientists today think of as material there are things like things that can be seen with microscopes electron microscopes um or they're if they're big things like galaxies that exist in some faraway planetary system we didn't have
20:45
telescopes that could see that so what starts to happen as we get into the modern era and our technology continues to grow is that we develop the means of seeing smaller areas of matter as well as larger areas and so that gave eventually the downside of that was the rise of scientific materialism which would fit with the dialectical
21:16
materialism and that they both think that the only thing that's real is matter and the reason they're thinking that is because they can track all these changes going on in the left-hand quadrants whether they're getting very small or getting huge they think because they can track all of those changes that those are the only things that are real is the changes in material and so if you look at consciousness studies today for example
21:46
at least half of the experts on consciousness studies think that consciousness is nothing but the product of a brain neurophysiological process that's the pure scientific materialism but they believe that they believe that because we've got so much so many examples of the actual correlations between what happens whenever we're having a left upper left hand experience and that the correlations that that will
22:17
cause in the upper right physiological brain so matter in that condition doesn't mean the lowest level of the great chain it's the exterior correlate of every level in the great chain and so that's one of the ways that we work in scientific materialism everything and materialism in that sense
22:48
means anything that can be seen photographed or videotaped and so if you look at anything in the right-hand quadrant it can be videotaped or photographed and including all the way down to electrons now we can spot those with electron microscopes and it's also includes anything big such as
23:18
galaxies um hundreds of thousands of light years away from here but everything in the right-hand quadrant can be seen and nothing in the left-hand quadrants can be seen so if you take something that's arising in mind or emotions um you can't point to those i mean point to love or we're having mutual understanding right now that's a left-hand quadrant point to mutual understanding you can't put your finger
23:50
on anything in a left-hand quadrant but you can put your finger on anything in the right-hand quadrants so that understanding alone has been at least i think a fairly large contribution to modern thought and turn helping us understand just wait a minute scientific materialism has so much data to support it how does that fit in with left-hand quadrant things and we go well it fits actually quite specifically
24:22
but you can't reduce left hand to right hand nor can you reduce right hand to left hand so that's important so for marxism we think that is a materialism and so it's in a right-hand quadrant and it's studies essentially the collective aspects of material systems so we say that marxism is a lower right quadrant uh phenomenon basically
24:54
and that makes it important but it also stops us from reducing the other three quadrants to that quadrant right which is important um so that's marx's thought and you're right it still has an extraordinary impact on the world's thought yeah again thank you for that you know it seems like marxism is one of those terms that we kind of have to carefully define what we
25:26
mean by it every time it's used in conversations like this because you know for for us right now we're talking about marxist epistemology right which is a little bit different than the sorts of constructs that that epistemology has produced which we've seen in soviet union we've seen in venezuela we've we've seen you know multiple failings of marxism and therefore that i think for particularly a lot of people in the west it kind of puts marxist epistemology itself into the shadow right right we don't trust sort of the
25:57
the products and the constructs that come out of it but i think what you're pointing to is actually something really really important which is that you know when we're looking at all of these different epistemologies that we did last month marxism is really one of the very few that focuses so much on the lower right quadrant and all the sort of the inter relations that exist there and you know i think that that marxist epistemology has there's a thread of it that sort of has woven through you know many of our conversations in the past we've talked before about how you know for example how
26:27
culture and consciousness can change actually very very quickly when the lower right quadrant changes very quickly you know for example moving from sort of the old school television based media age to the social media age information moves differently now and i think a marxist analysis would you know sort of really prioritize how important that is exactly particularly when you realize the relationship between all four quadrants so you're not tempted to reduce
26:59
the culture that's being wrapped up intensely with the techno economic base right that's supporting that culture and so as long as we recognize how the four quadrants fit together so we aren't reducing the three other quadrants to just the lower right quadrant then we can indeed track the changes that are occurring in the technoeconomic base and marx actually
27:30
made the difference between the technological sub stratum or what he called the base and the superstructure of culture and religion and and all of that the superstructure depended on the base and when the base would change that would have a direct impact on the superstructure so it would impact the economics and religion and the culture and so on and that's still
28:00
largely true and that's one of the things that that's why it's important to track and continue tracking the techno-economic structures as they unfold and it's also important to do that because what's required to produce a new techno-economic structure is first of all it's generally a near genius level comes up with some new techno-economic
28:34
base thing like you don't have to be smart enough to create a computer yourself but somebody does have to create a computer but once that's done because the computer is an artifact and the techno-economic structures are all artifacts when somebody else produces that artifact that you can go out and just buy a computer or get a computer and whatever your intellectual
29:05
smarts or dumbness you can use a computer you don't have to create it yourself so that's why techno economic base always runs ahead of the culture because somebody really smart to produce a new novel and creative techno-economic structure has to be smart enough to do that but once they've produced it any idiot can use it and you just nailed the problem of our era right there
29:35
exactly it takes a lot of genius to come up with a smartphone but every idiot on the planet can use it that's it that's it and and so if you're tracking how techno economic structures impact culture you're going to see that they often run ahead of the average level of development in culture and that's both why marx could was interested in tracking development because he could see no matter how
30:05
poorly he understood he understood that it was important because these things move at different rates and that's exactly what's one of the important things of marxism to keep in mind yeah and to track so yeah this is this is this is really helpful and it's really rich and very relevant right now ken like for example um you know the state of texas just banned uh critical race theory yeah from their education systems and you know we can have what and we probably will have a whole talk about
30:37
critical race theory um i'm a little bit uneasy with you know the state uh literally censoring certain schools of thought i mean that's this is like literal first amendment stuff but you know we can we can talk about that whole sort of bag later but you know when it comes to something like critical race theory um you know i am critical of critical race theory not because it's marxist which it is it's sort of unabashedly proudly marxist i mean they listed among their their core sort you know what i mean influences um i don't
31:08
i don't i don't i'm not critical of it because it has you know that marxist piece in it i'm critical because it's bringing along with it all of the pathologies of marxism that you just described in terms of minimizing everything to material realities or in this case you know skin color ethnicity and so forth it sort of debases our understanding of what the lower right quadrant is right yeah that's exactly right and the same way that a lot of people today
31:39
use scientific materialism or something they've heard said by scientific materialism and it just sort of seems to make sense to them because first of all so many people actually adopt a scientific materialist view but it also just sort of makes a certain sense in terms of oh well when i'm thinking it's actually my brain doing something so they hear something about that and when they're accepting what scientific materialism says
32:10
they're not just accepting the true parts of it they're accepting all the reduction ism that it includes and that's the problem with marxism right now is the same thing certain people will tend to believe it because first of all when you look around all you see is matter so if you're not that intense a thinker you're going to go oh dialectical materialism if that describes what i'm thinking yeah i'm a dialectical materialist
32:40
so but they're not only buying the true parts of dialectical materialism which is some of which we've talked about but they're accepting the whole reductionistic aspect of marxism as well right um and that is really problematic yeah ken is it your sense that um the integral project itself could actually benefit from a little bit more let's just say healthy integrated marxism i mean i'm thinking for example we often talk about the stages of development and of course when we're talking about them we're
33:12
largely pointing to upper left and lower left really mainly upper left but of course this resonates in the lower left way too a lot of people out there um you know who sort of are coming into the integral project they they will notice one of the first things they'll notice is that you know integral doesn't seem to have a very strong power analysis or a class analysis where we actually start looking at some of the exterior factors and conditions and circumstances that are
33:42
perpetuating sort of the the entire conveyor belt right and the left-hand side where some people you know we've talked about this before ken there's actually a video of you from like 20 maybe uh 25 years ago or so it's an old video where you were actually talking about you know the question why is the integral project so damn white and you kind of went into a little bit of a marxist analysis there in terms of you know the people who have the you know disposable income and why certain people have more disposable income and
34:14
it is sort of ripe for a healthy integrated marxist analysis i used to um i was actually fairly influenced when i first started building integral theory by a lot of marxist thinkers and one of the reasons was particularly during the 60s and 70s if you are smart intellectual particularly in europe then you tended to be a marxist because that was sort of the
34:45
most advanced edge of thinking at that time and i remember even when i wrote my first book spectrum of consciousness somebody said well can you give me just a short description of what you're trying to do with that book and i just read that the frankfurt school which is oh it was a large school of scholars from frankfurt germany um
35:16
that included people like horkheimer and adorno and up to the 60s included people like um marcus and habermas was considered the leading member of the frankfurt school when i was first starting out and he had explained what the frankfurt school was trying to do was to integrate freud and marx and of course those were two of the big
35:48
influences on me so i would say i'm trying to integrate freud marx and buddha which would sort of cover all the major areas that you know had to be touched upon um and that's um it's still true in terms of my own thinking although i would increasingly subtract out of marxism the stuff that i thought was just
36:17
reductionistic and wrong but i could um probably write fairly decent book right now that would address those issues and i probably should give some serious thought to that yeah maybe you should yeah all right we just gave ken some homework well and speaking of your writings on marxism ken i've got um i've got an excerpt here from sex ecology spirituality okay that i'd love to read if you're okay with that sure it's a little bit lengthy
36:48
um it's six paragraphs and you know this is this is these are ken wilber paragraphs you know they're high protein right um but let me just start and just give me kind of a few minutes to get through this so you say but the rise of rationality although it generated the world space in which all peoples could be recognized as free and equal subjects of the law and politically free subjects as citizens it did not produce or has not yet produced transformations of a global and not just national nature
37:19
that would seek to socially empower the world in a non-coercive and non-dominating fashion that would be driven by a recognition of what we all have in common as human beings and not what we have in common merely as believers in a particular and divisive mythology or as members of a particular ethnocentric tribe however much those differences would also be cherished and honored in a world-centric context with one major exception the only serious global social movement in all
37:50
of history to date and this was 1995 i believe has been the international labor movement marxism which had one great enduring and legitimate strength and one altogether fatal weakness the strength was that it discovered a common trait that all humans possess regardless of race creed nationality mythology or gender we all have to secure our bodily survival through social labor of one sort or another we all have to eat and thus social labor puts us all in the same boat
38:22
makes us all world citizens this movement was genuine enough and serious enough and made such an immediate good sense to so many people that it set off the first modern globally intent revolutions from russia to china to south america such for its genuinely noble strengths its fatal weakness was that it did not just ground higher cultural endeavors in the economic or material realm the physiosphere it did not just ground them in social labor and material exchange it reduced them to that exchange reduced
38:53
them to their lowest common denominator reduced them to material productions and material values and material means with all higher product productions especially spirituality serving only as the opiate of the masses in a nutshell that movement did not just ground the new sphere in the physiosphere which is vitally important because of compound individuality it reduced the neurosphere to the physiosphere such an egregious reduction that it took evolution less than a mere century to begin to erase that mistake
39:24
in earnest this reductionistic thrust of marxism because quote it could find no support in the real cosmos had to be converted into a religious mythology and thus had to press its vision in an imperialistic fashion and then just a couple paragraphs later what is needed rather is a more integrative approach that works with our present historical actualities a planetary culture will in effect have to deal with equitable material economic distribution in the physiosphere the enduring concern
39:55
of marx even if we reject his particular solutions and it will have to deal with sustainable ecological distribution in the biosphere the enduring contribution of the greens but it will have to go much further and deal specifically and non-reductionistically with the new sphere in its distributions and distortions and it will have to do so with something other than reductionistic web of life theories if it is to freely engage the motivation of an entire globe it will have to work towards specific theories
40:26
of free new spheric exchange including but transcending ecological concerns social labor could unite world citizens to the extent but only to the extent that we all share matter in common the greens can unite world citizens to the extent but only to the extent that we all share bodies in common but it will take a vision logic movement of tremendous integrative power integral a perspectival as universal integral in order to unite world citizens on the centauric basis that we all share
40:59
matter and bodies and minds in common not to mention a spirit and a self prior to all of that the greens have produced a promising platform but if it isn't any more than that and it isn't so far neglecting new spheric exchange then it will be merely snapped up by egoic rationality structures of capital production and we will simply have mcdonald's selling burgers and recyclable bags which is nowhere near anything deserving to be called a planetary transformation
41:30
yeah that's again those are the two basic the positive and negatives that outline there are essentially the same two that i've talked about here which is the positive aspect as it did in selecting materialism or social labor it did select the lowest common denominator but it was a common denominator and that's why so many people tended to pick up on it fairly quickly as i said it seemed like it was making
42:02
an enormous amount of good sense and in a sense it was to the extent that it was talking about the things that human beings do share and on the great chain of being they do share matter in the first sense um so that was the positive aspect of it the negative aspect was that it did they didn't just share that level it reduced everything to that level and what's really the difficult part about that as i sort of tried to outline it
42:35
is it's one thing to essentially reduce everything to the lower right quadrant let's say or the the material exteriors of something but if you can't say exactly what interiors are getting represented in by those exteriors because we we understand that they both go together but if you if you can't understand the interiors that are going together with your exteriors
43:08
then that's wide open to leaving them out entirely which is reductionism and that's what makes materialism in general so difficult so even if you look at scientific materialism will scientific materialists accept a self-transcendent state well if they could find something in the brain that corresponds with self-transcendence and some of them have they
43:38
called it actually call it the god spot that which laboratory wags have called the g-spot um but the only one they were ever able to find right so but the point is how then if a person has like a satori and they have an experience of being one with the ground of all being then the scientific materialist who looks at it doesn't report
44:08
oh what's real is this person is experiencing the ground of all being what's real is just a small section in the brain which we call the god spot that's getting lit up so that doesn't even match the person's experience because they're going wait a minute i experienced at the ground of all being i didn't experience something the size of an apricot in my brain or just one individual so that's again that's the problem with materialism
44:40
the thing is that of course those are correlated when you have a satori you'll have something going off in the brain and it could indeed be occurring in a god spot but you have to explain each quadrant on its own terms and if you don't then that's you're definitely reducing the reality of a particular quadrant to the reality of another quadrant that's the that's what integral it's one of the main things that it's
45:12
here to fight right right well you just totally uh set us up for the next question ken okay um because we're swinging from the lower right of marxism to the left of basically you know the ground of being our experience of the ground of being so the question is how do we know that our spiritual experiences transcend the flesh how can we claim that spiritual realities have a real ontological existence out there based on our own phenomenological experiences in here how do we discern whether
45:44
something like subtle realms or the absolute or the ground of being actually exist based on data collected from our own zone 1 state experiences versus something like unicorns how can we be sure that these spiritual states are not mere biochemical hallucinations caused by activating certain parts of our nervous system the g-spot right um well it's a good question but keep in mind
46:14
um this is a zone one experience but we have seven other zones right and we generally um when we talk about any one of them it's like an exterior reality we don't have any trouble acknowledging that they exist um and so it's it's no difference in that sense than a a reality that's coming from our zone one experience so that's the
46:48
sort of general response i would give but it's also um this problem exists with the entire nature of empiricism which basically bases reality on something that we can experience but william james pointed out that experience we have a sensory experience we have a mental experience and we have a spiritual experience and all three of those and actually we
47:19
can use every level of the spectrum of consciousness but at least those three the eye of flesh eye of mind and eye of contemplation all of those experiences are real because we can directly experience them ourselves so when we have something like sensory experience we acknowledge what that is in terms of oh it's this object and this table and this computer and so on and a mental experience is when we
47:50
experience something like well i can read a book and that's a mental experience love mutual understanding care compassion any of these things we don't have any trouble recognizing that they exist and same with spiritual experience if you actually have a genuine satori and that's something that you directly experience yourself and you
48:21
generally know it's true because unlike with unicorns you do it as part of a group of people who have also done this practice and they have also had spiritual experiences and you can compare the one you had with the one they had and if you say well i saw a unicorn there all of them who didn't also see a unicorn are going to go no i don't think so that's why when i talk about
48:53
the three strands of good knowing or good epistemology strand one is an injunction it's an actual practice which was the meaning of it's how thomas kuhn actually meant the word paradigm um most of my generation most of the boomers when the structure of scientific revolutions said thomas kenyon's book came out they latched on to the name paradigm like you can't believe and they all would come up with their
49:24
own paradigms because that's what they thought a paradigm meant it wasn't like a theory that was like all science theorists was created by a certain set of actual data that you got from doing an actual experiment it was just this super theory that created facts and data and so if they were talking about paradigms in astronomy they would say well there was the ptolemy paradigm
49:56
which was the ptolemaic epicycles and then there was copernicus and his heliocentric and then there was newton and his universal gravitation and there was einstein which replaced all of it with space-time relativity and they would give those like four major paradigms and then they would add their fifth paradigm which is whatever it was they were making up at the time but that's not what thomas cohen talked about he
50:27
went through several hundred paradigms including things like x-rays and batteries and what these were he got so upset with the way paradigm the word paradigm was being used he stopped using it entirely and he switched to a term called exemplar which meant an exemplary injunction and that's what the scientific revolutions were about in the sense they were discovering new types of experiments that you would do that would create new types of data and then that's the what you would build
50:59
your theory from so um stage one is you need a paradigm you need an exemplar you need an exemplary injunction something you have to do to generate the knowledge that includes if i want to determine the meaning of macbeth i have to learn a language and i have to read the play then i have to think about different interpretations of it
51:28
then i can discuss it with you but those are all things i actually have to do and the only reason that that's the case is 99 of what we recognize as knowledge now is not given to our unaided senses right i mean if we just look around what we're aware of right now we don't see atoms or molecules or cells or repelling brain stems or mammalian limbic systems we know those are there
52:02
though because we've developed tools that we can create an exemplar out of and get in touch with these this various types of data um so that's number one number two is just an illumination or a data and that means the direct experience you get so anybody who does the paradigm or does the injunction if they do it correctly they'll have an experience
52:36
they'll have an illumination they'll get some data and this is true whether you're talking about sensory experiences mental experiences or spiritual experiences if you want a spiritual experience of being one with the ground of all being and you're in zen then you go to the master and say i want a satori or however you would talk and they'll say that's fine here's a co-end for you um mu i want you to meditate on that day and night until you become one with
53:06
it and then come back and tell me what it means if you complete that injunction you'll have a direct experience you'll have a data you'll have an illumination you'll have a satori and so that's dependent upon your completing the injunction but if you do it you'll get illumination and then the third is simply a confirmation which is we check it with others to see if that looks to be in the ballpark or correct so that's what
53:37
all sciences do whether they're sciences of spiritual experience mental experience or sensory experience and the only problem is that again it's just the meaning of experience because what tended to happen as with scientific materialism it's you reduce everything to matter and that tended to go along with reducing everything that could be experienced by the senses the five
54:09
senses of their extensions and so spiritual experience wasn't included that wasn't something that you could talk to copernicus about or mutant about and they would say yes although both of them were very strong believers in the ground of all being by the way is fairly well understood um but we when we talk about science being evidence-based or experiential
54:41
that's fine and that's the way i use the term but i use experience correctly to mean the entire spectrum of consciousness because every major level can be directly experienced and that's what happens certainly it's what happens with mental experience like we talked about the meaning of macbeth that's a mental experience you have to still follow the three strands that all good science follows you have to first do your injunction which is learn english read the damn play
55:13
and etc then have an illumination or data or an understanding of what you're reading and then compare it with with other people so we do the same thing with our sensory knowledge and even though this might not be a common understanding of how experience is used again if we talk about a scientific materialist they'll they might go ahead and do an experiment to see where
55:45
the brain lights up when the person has a satori but if you ask them what the satori is and they say well i became one with the ground of all being they won't include that in in terms of what actually happened they'll just include this apricot sized area in the brain that would pop a few times when you happen to report having a satori um but it like most things in integral we try to make them consistent and coherent
56:16
and this is a consistent way of referring to evidence or experience and what separates an integral or truly scientific approach from items that aren't integral or aren't scientific in that true sense and that includes items like uh unicorns um so we don't want to be running around saying hey i just had my first experience of a unicorn that's
56:46
that's great um so there is a a fairly good response to the question um and again it's even though it's zone one there are seven other zones right and all of those are accessed using the same three strands right yeah i think i can i think and um because when we're talking about relative phenomena
57:17
right i think it's generally true that an exemplar or an injunction or a practice in any particular quadrant or zone is usually going to reveal data about that zone right so you're not going to sit on a meditation cushion and learn about quantum physics you're not going to look through a microscope and see mutual understanding like usually you're sort of limited to the the domain within which you're doing the experiment right when it comes to this particular injunction
57:48
i think it gets really um difficult to talk about i mean not only because the absolute itself is difficult to talk about right but it's you know people will have an experience they'll do a zone one injunction they'll have an experience and then they'll describe that experience to people and i think some out there may be the ones who haven't had this experience themselves yet will say well you're just describing a purely subjective phenomenon it's great that you have that experience but the the domain the realm you know you can't make any like big objective claims about
58:20
the world based on that experience because you're only you're still within your unconsciousness but i think the tricky thing here is that the experience itself is one that breaks the dichotomy of subject and object to begin with sure you have that taste of the absolute within that experience is this transcending of exactly that sort of distinction all the traditions define the ground of all being it's non-dual and when you say yes them or what duality does they overcome the first one
58:51
they'll say is that overcome subject object right so i mean that's one of the things that makes it difficult to explain because most people haven't heard about a ground of all being or what it does um and the other thing that makes it particularly difficult is that even though very few people at any stage of growing up have undertaken a practice of waking up so it's very
59:22
rare to have somebody who has a satori or an enlightenment experience everybody has gone through the magic and mythic stage of development and so everybody has generally either themselves sort of been predisposed to the idea or usually they've gone to sunday school or they go to a church or something and so they've been told that there's this god figure it's a largely a mythic figure they're talking about and
59:54
so it has no more actual reality than um santa claus or the tooth fairy or you know allah or jehovah all of those when you experience as a myth is from what fowler called a mythic literal level and that means the myths are taken as literal unalterable realities and so as somebody moves into adolescence
01:00:24
and tends to start developing the rational or even pluralistic stages of development they'll start to let go of their mythic beliefs just as they let go of belief in santa claus and tooth theory or anything like that in terms of their absolute reality um and so all they know when you start talking about some absolute like a ground of all being is oh that i used to believe in that and i don't believe it
01:00:53
anymore it's just a myth um how can you get stuck in something like that and that's it makes it really difficult yeah that was why um i used to when i had my first books come out and i would see a review of the book and the person would start to say well this this person is giving us a really good understanding of god or something like i would always cringe because i go no wait i don't you don't say that because
01:01:26
they all everybody who reads this review is going to think that i'm right up there with the tooth fairy and santa claus and i found a cleverer way to pull the idea over around people um so i used to always just cringe when when that would come out right the same is true when i would be described as a new age theorist because that for a lot of people that's just as goofy
01:01:56
and what you're believing in is the tooth fairy of santa claus or something like that um so i would cringe at that description as well and unfortunately the press only has two categories for somebody that's doing something like this um you're a new age nut case or a fundamentalist nut case but you're in that case either way so yeah it's it's a tough it's a tough one well and it's as as
01:02:27
these things so often are can it's it's a it's an issue of semiotics right i mean i think that particularly again for people coming into integral and particularly the ones who are coming in on a very sort of cognitive band they're very attracted to integral ideas right they may not have already done the work that you're saying they need to do in order to have these kinds of conversations they haven't done the actual waking up exemplars right that would give them a signified right to correspond with all these signifiers that are you know
01:02:58
being exchanged all over the time in this space right and i think for those folks i mean look we're all naturally hostile to signifiers for which we do not have our own signifieds right and i think that there are certain versions of integral or integral adjacent groups out there which are you know they're fine with the eye flesh they're fine with the eye of mind but when it comes to the eye spirit they're dubious they're skeptical they're you know maybe even sometimes a little dismissive of it right um and i'm i
01:03:28
guess i'm curious what your opinion is of these i'll just call them third eye blind versions of of integral that are out there do you think i mean is it okay to have a secularized version of integral can it do some good i started noticing that a while back when a lot of integral groups would meet and occasionally they would have a debate and it was titled something like does integral need spirituality
01:04:01
and so it was the third eye blind people would say no and most there it was usually about half and half about half of them would say yes it's central to it about half would say no i we don't need it at all um i obviously keep including it because i think it's important if i had agreed with one side or the other if i'd agreed well if i'd agreed with no integral doesn't need
01:04:33
any spiritual healthy i would just stop including it in my books but it's been in every book i've ever written right it's it is at least some aspect of a transcendental ground is mentioned uh certainly if you're going to claim that you have an integral a comprehensive framework of most of the important ideas that humanity has had and you're going to leave out spirit
01:05:04
that's you're not going to get very far with that one right um granted we have different levels of development and there are certainly levels of development that don't include spirituality particularly starting at orange and green but all the ones below that and all the ones above that include some version of spirituality granted the earlier ones are pre-rational then the rational
01:05:36
levels will often leave out spirituality but the trans-rational levels always bring them back and we find that true in almost every developmental model certainly the new ones that are created at um like at pacifica and other um organizations like that um that have people that have are creating
01:06:10
um using data from experiments to outline levels of growing up uh terry o'fallon for example and suzanne cook greater they have in their own experimental studies find that as you get higher third tier as i refer to it then there's they're always defined as defining themselves as having a spiritual
01:06:42
ground um and i think it's just um if you're going to really be integral and inclusive you want to really be integral and inclusive so i um no i i'm not i i don't get upset when they're doing it because you know they're they've got their hearts in the right place or at least their head in the right place they're thinking integrally even if they're not if they haven't as you said they don't
01:07:14
have the injunction or the exemplar to open them up to data that they if they had experienced that they would know they should include it but that's also it's one of the real difficulties with the world in general today yeah i remember i remember you talking about this in terms of how uh your book ses sexy college spirituality was received particularly in academia yeah where there were a lot of people were like i want to teach this stuff but we kind of have to get rid of all the
01:07:44
platinus crap and all the nagarjuna crap and all that non-dual crap because that doesn't play here and that's you know that's why to me it feels like you know these secular forms of integral can be useful if they're being used to target particular audiences that are you know maybe kind of ready for a half step into integral but not the full leap you know um so that's that's that's usually how i tend to hold these yeah i think so i i think that's what i mostly have in mind when i see those kind of debates
01:08:16
or people writing about third eye blind or so on um i mostly think of the positive impact they could have on something so i've never really gotten that upset about it or even complained that loudly so i've heard a lot of these debates but i've never heard anybody actually repeat what i just said because i this first time i've really said it [Laughter]
01:08:47
that's why we do the ken show folks that's right no that's awesome that's that's that's very helpful thank you um the next question is actually sort of related it's a quick question right um funny enough it was a question that popped up uh when i was uh putting together some of the questions last month right um around epistemology this this is a question that almost comes verbatim out of wikipedia funny enough right it's about the two truths right um is the two truths doctrine best understood as an epistemological claim as i believe
01:09:17
it was for nagarjuna or is it more of an ontological claim as it's understood to be in chinese buddhism both neither yeah um this it's an interesting question because the two truths doctrine itself is just such an interesting phenomenon um it's basically the notion that when we have a satori or a direct spiritual
01:09:50
experience now what we are getting in touch with if we've done everything right if we've done the injunction right you know we're having a correct experience and it's going to be confirmed in all of that that what we're getting in touch with is an ultimate or an absolute truth and then when we're not having that experience when we're just sort of in our day-to-day lives or if we're actually doing science
01:10:22
or we're doing reading or something like that those can all be very true but they're all relative truths because they all deal with relative finite things that are each separate from one another and we can recognize the difference between each of them um but with ultimate truth we're realizing the ground of being of all of those separate things and that's why it's one of the reasons why
01:10:54
cultures that had experiences of satori or enlightenment or realization didn't of themselves necessarily develop scientific understanding very far because when you're having an experience of absolute truth you're experiencing the same the fundamental ground that's the ground of every single individual thin so it won't tell you anything about one individual thing versus another
01:11:25
individual thing because you're one with all of it so you could be like 2 000 3 000 years ago in cultures that had satori realization you could be like practicing really hard on your meditation and one day you're just taking a walk through the woods and you see the trees you're going by you and the sun's overhead and you're walking on the earth and all of a sudden you pow you have a satori and all of a sudden you're one with the sun and you're one with the earth
01:11:58
and you're one with every single tree in the forest but that satori won't tell you and you'll still think that the sun goes around the earth right that the earth is flat and even though you're one with all the trees you won't be able to understand that those trees all have atoms and molecules and cells and etc so and also it doesn't give you the morals that a relative reality will
01:12:32
give you so virtually all of the societies that had these great awakening experiences also had slavery we weren't we didn't really get rid of slavery until about 300 years ago in the west from about 1770 to 1870 slavery was we got rid of it in every single rational industrial country
01:13:00
in the west but it took that long for us to get rid of it um thomas seoul's history of slavery has i'm quoting uh christian monasteries had slavery buddhist monasteries had slavery basically all of the great religious traditions had slavery saint paul actually tells slaves obey your master and love jesus christ right that's what you're going to get if
01:13:32
you're a christian that's the advice you're going to get obey your master and love jesus christ that and they were all as bad even though they were all generally having these oneness experiences but oneness is just that it's one with everything it doesn't tell you anything about individual items so that was partly the two truths doctrines wherever
01:14:04
they appeared were appearing because they knew that even though they didn't necessarily understand a whole lot of specific relative truths they knew that they were different from ultimate truths and so but the two truths doctrine is important because it's the only place i'm aware of that in all of human history humans claimed to have a way that you would actually get access to an absolute
01:14:35
ultimate truth and they all had some version of this teacher's doctrine and that's what makes it so astonishing to me and of course what could happen is that if you had an experience of this absolute ultimate truth it might indeed probably would make you a better functioning relative individual person and so you might even if you're doing scientific research
01:15:08
you might become a better scientific researcher because you had that experience but slowly the point is we increased our capacity to get in touch with relative truth as we slowly discovered the various sciences and particularly with the emergence of the orange rational level which also brought not only new epistemologies particularly the scientific ones but
01:15:39
also brought new moral um particularly the emergence from the conventional stages to the post-conventional stages that's also why with the emergence of a post-conventional universal stage of development that is exactly why we got rid of slavery once that moral development had emerged it was the same period 1770 to 1870 and that was essentially the same period
01:16:09
that the modern sciences emerged so everything that people sometimes just call the western enlightenment and a lot of people have enormous sort of almost worship of it you can see why i mean it really was an astonishingly positive development in many ways the negative side of the western enlightenment just to mention it very quickly is that they invented scientific materialism they took everything in the left-hand
01:16:44
quadrants and reduced it to the lower right quadrant so that's why you'll find occasionally writers who write books with the titles like the crime of the enlightenment because they know something we got something bad out of modernity and the enlightenment and that was essentially what it was um was the invention of scientific materialism but what still stood the
01:17:18
test of times was the two truths doctrine and what happened in the enlightenment is we made enormous leaps forward in relative truth but because that was the case and science in terms of scientific materialism was becoming the predominant source that smart educated people would look to for if you're looking for real knowledge you look to science and you no longer look to religion
01:17:49
particularly the mythic form of religion so that was when science modern science got rid of religion what it was getting rid of was mythic religion and that was a problem but it also tossed out absolute truth religion and that was a problem but um the two truths are up until uh a few hundred years ago
01:18:19
with the emergence of modernity as i say it's the only place that i've ever seen that human beings announced ways to contact an absolute ultimate truth and that makes it really important and it's also one of the reasons that i continue to recommend a genuinely spiritual awakening practice for people and i don't belong
01:18:50
to the third blind school uh uh integral studies um so in terms of whether the ultimate truth was talking about epistemology or ontology and or was the difference between the two epistemological or ontological the answer was indeed it was meant in both to cover both areas so even somebody like nagarjuna he's primarily
01:19:20
talking about an epistemological change because what he's the fundamental point of nagarjuna's mathemaca approach was that because ultimate truth can only be understood if you directly experience it you have to have a real satori yourself and if you don't anything you say about truth
01:19:51
will not be true it certainly won't carry uh the imprimatur of absolute or ultimate truth and so he gave rather elaborate logical demonstrations that you can take anything that you want in any name or quality or characteristic that you want to apply to reality say it's truth or goodness or beauty or any of those types of things and call
01:20:21
whichever one of those you choose x and the guardian demonstrated that reality is not x is neither x nor not x nor both nor neither i mean that simply wipes out anything you can say right about it and his point is oh but you can still know absolute truth but to do that you have to switch from ordinary thinking to prajna or what it was satori inducing
01:20:53
awareness and then anything you say will be acceptable essentially but not without that direct experience without that direct experience anything you say he would shoot it down right and so that was the epistemological part of that but even when he would discuss that he would talk about the ontology of it because there was nirvana and samsara which were ontological realities and
01:21:25
early buddhism was actually very dualistic it gave you ways to meditate that would get you into states of cessation where your thought would just completely stop and samsara there was nothing would arise no phenomena would arise in awareness and that means that samsara would simply cease so you'd be in a pure nirvana which is a pure state of cessation or pure formless emptiness
01:21:56
and samsara itself would simply drop out this is a real state of awareness you can get into those types of formless states of awareness but nagarjuna was the first to really point out he didn't maintain that nirvana wasn't a real state or that you couldn't get into it he knew it was real and you could get into it but his question is is it the ultimate state and his answer was no it's not because it's dualistic
01:22:27
it's nirvana split from the entire world of samsara how can that be a whole state it can so he came up with what was called shunyata which technically is translated as emptiness but it actually means neither empty nor not empty nor both nor neither but it means the direct experience you have when you're having a satori and that in a sense was the real nirvana
01:22:57
but it was a nirvana that transcended and included the previous nirvana and sasara so he was pointing to the wholeness that unified both of those and that in a sense was an ontological pointing that he was doing and mostly any of the traditions that talk about the two truths essentially use it in that way um although i think nagarjuna was the genius
01:23:28
of the crowd in all of this i mean he really was his stuff is just still it's absolutely brilliant but most of the disciplines that embrace the two truths would refer to ultimate truth by some term such as non-dual um and what that meant was that all of samsara is being transcended but so is all of nirvana so you're transcending both nirvana and
01:24:01
samsara to the extent they're separate and you're finding the wholeness that underlies both of them and so that's an example of what they would maintain is true for all of manifestation that wherever you find opposites there are actually two different aspects of the same underlying reality so the christian mystics call it the coincidentia oppositorium the unity of opposites and that was
01:24:32
essentially true for epistemology and ontology as well um and so the op the coincidental oppositorium is sort of how these two truths were looked upon and the higher the school of meditative practice that a particular school of buddhism was involved with such as in tibetan buddhism the higher the school got the more you interpreted the
01:25:03
understanding of non-dual from a non-dual perspective so they would even say ultimate truth and relative truth are not two and that's the very highest school of tibetan buddhism would make that claim and of course it's right i mean it's and when you have the whole thing that drove nick arsham had to do this in the first place is when you have this experience that would be quote of ultimate truth
01:25:35
what you're experiencing is a coincidental opposite term you're experiencing a true oneness of everything and that exists except you wouldn't describe it that way because that oneness excludes manyness and that's exactly what you're not experiencing right so um it but these were really fundamental aspects of the quote perennial philosophy um so the two truths
01:26:05
yeah yeah that's great that's a great answer i love i love um i love asking questions about nagarjuna because it's like a riddle nagarjuna just ends up unasking the question right you know which is always a lot of fun right um no that was that was that was awesome brilliant all right man let's talk about math okay um so this question uh is basically where are mathematics located um what exactly is math anyway does it exist independently of the mind or are
01:26:37
mathematics generated by mind does the square root of negative two actually exist objectively in the real world out there or is it an epistemological feature of our sense making in here right well um now to give a short answer they're what i refer to as involutional givens and what that means is one of the reasons that i sometimes call
01:27:11
this integral approach a postmodern methodology is what postmodernism did in general is what modernity started to do which is because the orange rational level that underlay modernity what it started to do was understand as it looked back on history it started to see history unfolded in various stages and so it saw a mythic stage
01:27:48
and because it tended to its own cognitive capacities tended to transcend mythic into rational then it realized that these earlier stages of historical development even though they seemed real at the time they were involved with things that weren't wouldn't be considered in our grown-up version of reality today and so just as a child at age five believes in the tooth fairy
01:28:21
or santa claus or something like that doesn't mean that they really exist and so modernity started to cancel out a lot of the magic and mythic beliefs that were used to be common at earlier stages of development and so it the sophisticated versions of
01:28:50
modernity would consider like if they're you're looking at a mythic belief they would say okay well that belief was thought to be real at that stage of development and so we acknowledge that it among other things that stops you from thinking that people were just always never grew up you know because they were always believing in magic or mythic or something and so humanity was just stuck at this perpetual childhood stage and so if you believe that then you
01:29:21
can't even believe that your rational stage is a higher stage it's just you're going to learn you know um but when i started to come into that understanding for the first time um i started to refer to i started to understand what post mythic modes of awareness we're trying to do and so i would
01:29:56
tend to say like a lot of the believers in modernist he first did well those things were true for those stages of development and that has to be acknowledged so we can acknowledge that even the mythic god of jehovah and allah something like that was true for that mythic stage and that was very important at that time it actually created a lot of the foundations of what is today called the great civilizations so we don't want to just say oh they're
01:30:28
nothing but the products of the five-year-old they were the products of even if it was a five-year-old form of cognition it was being maintained by adult human beings who actually still believe that because that was the best they could do in that sense um so i would start to and as i continue to look at evolution which is sort of the premier belief
01:31:01
system of the orange scientific rational belief structure um i started to understand evolution as itself definitely it existed and it still exists today and what it was essentially doing is it was the premier form of creative of creation that is ascribed to god in genesis for example and i
01:31:35
noticed that a lot of my friends who were aware of the scientific worldview would and and yet wanted to remain christians for example like michael god would still interpret evolution as well that's really the way god is creating individual stuff today and so it became another form arrows became another form of spirit in action
01:32:06
essentially for me um but i also realized i recognized that even as i tried to subtract all of the previous archaic magic and mythic structures to come up with a purely post-mythic understanding that there were still some things like mathematics that you couldn't get rid of and so and evolution itself didn't evolve
01:32:39
it so to speak i mean it seems to have been present going back i think all the way to the big bang because i think eros was working at that point but for for those things that were seem to be in existence from the beginning and i postulated because i do believe in involution and which is spirit moving downward and outward through the great chain and that's what produces
01:33:08
spirit to soul to mind to body to matter and then matter blows into existence and then the whole chain reverses itself so because i believed in involution then the things that seem to remain present in evolution like mathematics were what i call involutionary givens they were given to our evolving world by the form of involution itself and that seemed to
01:33:40
make sense um and it also it seemed that it carried over one of the essential ideas of the deistic religions which was that god included a creative force and before evolution was understood or anything like that it was god who brought us into creation and brought all the animals into creation and all of that i mean basically the human mind seems to want to account for the source
01:34:12
of something that has created that much creation so um involution itself was an involutionary given as evolution was so i would just sort of add things back that seem to still be in existence in our world of evolution but couldn't really be pointed to as starting at a particular place in time so i for me that just became natural to assume that as spirit
01:34:44
was throwing itself outward in evolution that it left some aspects of creative spirituality behind um and it had to create the great chain of being for example if it's use the christian version matter body mind soul spirit each one of those levels had to have been already in production so when spirit threw itself out it left behind evolutionary givens of soul
01:35:15
mind body and matter and that's what blew into existence is the potential for all of those because they seem to emerge in that order and they certainly to the extent that science has been able to trace it back they emerge in that order because matter emerges first and then living bodies and then minds and then if you look at the great traditions around the world after people developed minds and they take up meditation or
01:35:46
some spiritual practice they'll develop soul and then spirit so they seem to be that order that they were there seemed to be given from the beginning and i just called anything like that an involutional given and so that's where mathematics appears to be so incredibly widespread and so extraordinarily effective i mean even like the anthropic
01:36:18
principle now that's one of the main arguments for the existence of god is that as from the very beginning all of the cosmological constants that were created have been created such that if they were changed by literally a fraction of a fraction then life itself would not appear we wouldn't appear at all i mean even um stephen hawking and people like that
01:36:50
have written about that if any of these many cosmological constants were changed at just a fraction of an inch then evolution wouldn't have come into existence in any fashion at all so mathematics does seem to be present it seems to be present going all the way back to matter and present through biology and it's certainly present through mine and whichever
01:37:21
level it becomes apparent on it then it would say okay it's a product of that level that's fine so if we want to say mathematics is a product of the human mind that's fine because the human mind has a real ontological existence so that's true for i believe it's true for any mental phenomena that we have like ours we're talking about mutual understanding or love or compassion on the one hand
01:37:53
those look just like their phenomenological existence that they just arise in human awareness and it's fine if you want to think that but they also have an ontological existence in themselves because i think that mind is connected to a spiritual reality which gives it an ontological reality i think body it obviously emerged and came after
01:38:24
matter but matter obviously emerged so i sometimes make a distinction between subsisting and existing yes and so something that like if you look at our tribal ancestors that they actually possess atoms molecules cells and the answer is yes they they clearly under did possess those did they understand them did they have
01:38:54
any awareness of them the answer is no they didn't exist e x hyphen ist they didn't exist in our consciousness in our mind but they did subsist they did exist in our being our reality if you want so there are several things that exist only for the mind but that subsists in previous levels and the tendency
01:39:28
due to scientific materialism is to take anything that you can show the mind produces and say oh well that's that exists only as a product of the brain so it it doesn't have any ontological existence itself where i take a much more ontological slash phenomenological view in other words i believe that phenomena that exists in the mind exists in a reality
01:39:59
that is real and is genuine and it if we're not aware of that then it doesn't exist but it still subsists because we still have the capacity for that mental phenomena and if we if humans don't then it neither subsists nor does it exist and it would exist only if it actually came into a thought process if we
01:40:30
one day you and i woke up and had a certain thought about something then that would phenomenologically exist but things like uh the english language that we're using now i think those that subsists in the human mind and that's why somebody even like chomsky can maintain that human beings are born with a universal grammar that all languages are present
01:41:01
when we're born with it and so that's just one example of existing and subsystem but mathematics to answer your question is the product of mind but it exists so it the square root of a negative two if you want to say okay it's out there then that's okay um i would since i'm uh just talking about this in general terms i would say yes i believe it's out there although what we mean by out there we
01:41:32
have to be careful because out there it means matter right and so we have to you know okay what level of matter are you talking about is existing in um but in general terms yes mathematics exists it exists out there and that's why it has an effect on things out there and that's why if the cosmological constants varied by somebody one place i read it's
01:42:03
if you changed it 10 to the number of zeros that's equal to 40 volumes of the encyclopedia britannica if you changed it that much it would collapse wow i mean these are they're really that's why the anthropomorphic principle has become a primary argument for the people arguing for god's existence although i'll just say in terms of that very briefly
01:42:34
that whenever they off offer an argument like that all they're really proving they almost always people that believe in theism they believe in the god of the bible but all those proofs prove is the existence of theism which simply suggests that it's a ground of being that it can be the ground of all things that exist so but most of the deists now argue some
01:43:07
form of anthropomorphic or they call it the fine-tuned universe and of course with them they think there has to be a fine tuner named yahweh no it's just a tuner alone and it doesn't even have to have a separate subjective self that's not how we work it um but anyway um yeah so that's mathematics an involutionary given interesting so
01:43:37
so knowing that you hold it as an involutionary given do you make any room at all for the possibility that maybe it was one of the first evolutionary emergence like like for example i know um in your talk with rupert sheldrake many years ago uh one of the ideas that you guys talked about was that the physical laws of the universe themselves may have actually been habits sure that sort of evolved in the very first instances of the universe you know oftentimes people talk about
01:44:09
you know when the big bang you know exploded everything into being um it exploded an equivalent number of of um particles and anti-particles right and for some reason those ant you know they they all found each other and blinked each other out of existence except at the end of the day there were more regular particles and there were anti-particles and no one can quite figure out why like why was it that they won the race was it possible that in those first moments it's because two plus two actually equaled five
01:44:40
well this is where um i'm glad we talked about the two truths yeah because what we're talking about now is some relative reality that's not absolute but the people that have often used relative reality arguments for god including thomas aquinas and so on talked about an unmoved mover that everything in existence has a cause
01:45:13
and therefore unless you're going to get an infinite regress of causes and causes cause there has to be an uncaused source of it all and that's what they all use the ones that use this argument all point to that and say that is an ultimate god and in a certain sense whenever you say something like well maybe what if some of these things are a habit that just were one of the early emergents in
01:45:43
evolution i tend to say that's fine where did that come from right where did that emergence come from that's some creative source that creative source is what i'm talking about and so i don't care where you put that so so for example if something that exists it means that there's a certain point that it comes into a human mind and that's fine i'll just say well that's either something
01:46:15
that we're becoming aware of for the first time like atoms molecules and cells but it also had a subsistence at previous time so that was at the first tribes but then if you say okay but how can we become aware of this stuff and if that's a true emergent then i would just say again well where did that emergence itself come from and uh i think that if you look at it you
01:46:48
sort of keep the two truths doctor in mind and then you look at at what most philosophy has done east and west is whenever it's come to to when they're asked something about an ultimate truth they'll come up with something from the relative world that seems to make sense and then they'll say there that's where it came from and the garcia immediately would listen to everything i said and say no that it's neither x or not x nor both
01:47:20
nor neither so think again wilbur and he would say you have to have an experience of ultimate truth that's the only way you're ever going to know it accurately right so just get people to have that experience and that's where this emergence came from right you'll understand it right now i love that where did emergency how did emergency merge it's great because it kind of pretzels the entire question yeah
01:47:48
it is and but that's that's the types of arguments that these deists use and that one's called the fine-tuning or the emergence of fine-tuning or the fine-tuned universe and that's fine i mean it makes me feel better when occasionally some of them as they give lists of the reasons to believe in god some of them the last thing they'll put on the list
01:48:20
is personal experience so they'll at least say well and some of them i should say you can forget all the previous ones the real god is a personal experience that you will have and you'll know it when you have it that sounds at least like they're getting more in the correct ballpark for the truths right it's such a useful wild card too because that's like a black box that you can you can you can pack anything into that yeah you can yeah yeah fascinating all right uh thank you for that so we are now
01:48:52
actually on to our final question and it's funny ken this question i think brings us back to our introduction of the topic in last month's show um and i think that what this question is pointing to and it's a bit of a i'll just call it a soliloquy which i'll read to you um you know i think that this question is really pointing towards the epistemic conditions or the epistemic qualities of our current life conditions that are themselves
01:49:26
i think begging integral into existence right um the whole reason we're having this set of conversations right here is because we see all around us a complete and total epistemic crash right so let me just read this and then i i'm really eager to hear your advice here um and this is another one of those obnoxious multi-paragraph questions but here we go so we've talked before about how it has always been the case that we've had multiple epistemologies conflicting with
01:49:58
each other at different stages of development however you've pointed out that generally speaking the highest stage tends to set the overall discourse this was especially true when we lived in a more curated media world for decades people like walter cronkite would tell us what is true and what isn't based on his own orange discernment but now we live in the completely uncurated world of social media where each of us individually are responsible for our own
01:50:27
informational terrain this is largely the result of existing on flat and fully pluralistic and postmodern media platforms such as facebook twitter etc that have themselves not only failed to sustain any sort of sane post-modern discourse but have also incentivized a massive regression back to magenta tribalism red narcissism and amber ethnocentrism which has led to let me just say this is sort of a marxist take right here yeah right uh which has led to the a
01:50:58
perspectival madness that we are all all immersed in today where things like q anon conspiracies rule the day where social justice warriors begin to support ideas like segregation where your political affiliation becomes the biggest predictor of whether or not you get the covid vaccine we also see this uh when an entire political party is now revolting against its own orange members who dare to admit that donald trump lost the election ousting liz cheney calling mitt romney a communist etc
01:51:29
so i had to add a little political flavor in here the world is broken and no one can quite agree how it's broken which makes these problems particularly the truly wicked ones that much more difficult to fix it's a total epistemic collapse of historic proportions and this is now the water that we're all swimming in this is why this discussion about epistemology is so important these aren't just major schools of philosophies that are discussed in academia i think the most important idea here is that all of us are walking around with
01:51:59
our own personal epistemologies that we use to make sense of the world whether consciously examined or not and these personal epistemologies are often at least partially informed by these major schools of thinking as well as any number of pre-rational forms of sense making the hope here is that by better understanding these multiple ways of thinking and plugging them into a more comprehensively integral view we can then bring more awareness to our own epistemological assumptions biases and blind spots so the question
01:52:29
for you ken is what is an integral list to do how can we ensure that we are responsibly maintaining our own informational terrain and keeping a careful eye on our own confirmation biases while also helping others to do the same if we notice that our friends and family are basing their views on broken epistemics and unfalsifiable narratives something that we even see in integral circles on occasion what are some skillful ways that we can help guide them back to reality other than
01:53:00
just throwing ken wilber books at them yeah right no i i got it um well this is a variation on um a question that i'm asked a lot which is given the mess that we're in now how can we what can we do to make it better or what can you recommend anybody can do and so on and the um the difficult
01:53:30
truth is that we're going to get some major changes when the leading edge of cultural evolution or development starts to at about 10 or so push into integral or second tier stages of development because what will happen then is that in a fairly quick way educational systems will start to open
01:54:10
up to integral presentations and we we know that this is possible because green demonstrated how fast it can happen and that's one of the best things that green did in 1950 [Music] the percent of the population in america at green was 3 and then as the boomers came in and they
01:54:49
began to move particularly into adolescence they were the first generation that brought a new stage of development with them which was green essentially post-modern green and by the time they had gotten through their college education the percentage of the population at green in this country was around over 20 percent
01:55:20
so and that the best and the brightest were all pushing green and so as they then entered the universities they started redoing the educational system and the percentage of the people in education itself that were at green was over 30 or even 40 percent because they would take the cream of the crop and since the crop was 20
01:55:52
the cream of the crop was 30 or 40 so they started redoing the educational system at that point and that's just simply increased up to today where they still tend to be in charge of the educational curriculum and how it goes and that ends up affecting everybody that goes through um
01:56:24
well now they're starting with at age five telling all white people that they have white privilege and it's i mean this is they're very serious about this um you say um but now we live in the completely uncurated world of social media and that again this is sort of playing a little bit with terms but that uncuratedness of postmodernism
01:56:54
is itself curated by the post-modern stage of development right which brings us uh um well claire graves called it the relativistic stage because that's exactly what it is so we went from the mythic stage amber stage which graves called absolutistic and that's just what it was and that's what all fundamentalist beliefs belief fundamentalist beliefs are today the bible is
01:57:24
100 absolutely true it's the word of god and so on to the orange stage which he called multiplistic because it could take multiple perspectives and that's what brought modern science for example into existence and then the green stage is called relativistic because that's just what it is and so the relativism of the postmodern era is itself directly responsible for a lot
01:57:55
of the fragmentation and polarization that we see and that's only going to change when obviously social institutions themselves start to change and the most important one is education and so [Music] i don't think that green will ever move out of its relativistic definition i think the only thing that
01:58:27
will happen is when society actually moves to the next major level which is the teal holistic or beginning integral stages of development and i think when that happens it could happen as quickly as green demonstrated it can happen which is it just takes a generation basically um and so when we start to get integral
01:58:57
stages in charge of the educational system they it'll eventually reach all the way down like it does now and we'll start with five-year-olds but we'll be teaching them a different fundamental paradigm about who they are and what their possibilities of achievement are what their original sin was yeah right um but it's this it's the relativistic stages
01:59:29
curation of this uncurated atmosphere that um and you start to see it because the green stage itself and its own defining characteristics has many paradoxical statements remember it's relativistic but it believes that all truth is relativistic except its own claim that all truth is relativistic which it hopes to be absolutely true so you've got a
02:00:01
self-contradiction right there and in the definition of the stage um it does take a fairly intelligent person to screw up that badly and that's why green is the highest of the first tier stages but it's still a first tier stage and the definition of first tier is it thinks its truth and values are the only real truth and values anywhere in the
02:00:32
world and that's what green has done um so it's gotten to the point now where green is so convinced that its relativistic truth is absolutely true that you'll notice in college protests that when somebody even a republican comes on to give a speech they're shouted down and just the the hecklers veto is used they're so convinced that
02:01:02
everything they're saying is true that they don't even have to talk to the people that disagree with them that's right and that's just alarming no body at any integral stage it's not green it's not pluralistic that's that's one of the big problems we're running into ken is a lot of people who profess to have green values don't actually express these important green qualities such as being able to hold multiple truths simultaneously that's true and that's why i distinguish
02:01:31
particularly hit it um heavily in the book that i'm just finishing now which is called making room for everything um i really clearly distinguish between green and broken green because it's really broken green that is the leading force of this uncurated drive that we see right and it's unfortunate because broken green is also primary driver of
02:02:04
the culture wars we the culture wars are orange or amber versus orange versus green and we had orange political parties and amber political parties for a long time um orange as a political party first came into existence with the western enlightenment and it was a relatively new stage of development so they didn't have a political party
02:02:35
and they had to think of a name that would they would call themselves for the name of their political party and they chose a liberal from the french word liberte which meant the freedom individual freedom that the liberal held to be the most central value that they held and they were in contrast with the ones that wanted to conserve the traditions and were called appropriately the conservatives
02:03:04
and it just so happened that in the french parliament the conservatives sat on the right hand of the king and the liberals sat on the left side of the king and those two terms the right and the left stuck and we still refer to conservatives right-handed and liberals as left-handed but they managed to get along relatively okay for about 200 years until the 1960s with the emergence of green and green itself was a
02:03:36
different political party it was a postmodern party and they are the ones that trigger the culture wars so um all of that's fine it's the way development and evolution goes i can't wait myself for when it continues into an integral stage of development and we give the actual emergence of what claire grieves and followers of graves call
02:04:06
second tier uh and remember graves called the leap from first tier to second tier from green to teal he called it monumental and quote a cataclysmic leap of meaning um and he was very careful about how he would make judgments between stages because he didn't want to say oh this stage is the best or the highest because he was very cautious when he would do stuff like that but you can find sections in his writings when he'll say
02:04:38
this is second tier is actually the beginning of humanity i mean he felt that strongly about it that first tier stages which all one way or another felt that their stage it was the only stage that had truth and values that wasn't what he considered to be real humanity although they were fairly recent and if you were going to pick a first tier stage you would certainly start with orange
02:05:08
as being the first universal embrace sort of approach but to have that second tier in charge of educational system would be um i think extraordinary um so that's the stock answer that i have for that question that unfortunately it doesn't really help individuals who are existing today so
02:05:41
when i say for them um keeping in mind the importance of education um is that until we get a change in the educational system itself that people can practice in a sense a sort of mini education and that means that if you are talking with somebody and you see that they are making an obvious mistake
02:06:12
that they're somehow embracing an uncurated drive or something like that that you in very gentle and pleasant terms give them your explanation of what's wrong with that view and i recommend doing this with family with friends you don't want to be known for oh here comes the integral guy run you know i i not i'm not talking about that
02:06:42
degree at all but the point is people change their minds only when they have a better idea that they'll change their minds for and if you're not going to suggest one for them where are they going to get it right so i think this sort of mini miniature educational system is a really good idea and particularly for people which is an increasingly
02:07:14
larger percentage of the population are becoming people that are right between first and second tier they're ready to make that cataclysmic leap of meaning but they just don't quite have the words for it or quite the way to frame it and if you can do that you're going to help them enormously and if you do it gently and with the right sort of tone and attitude it's something that particularly if it kicks in correctly
02:07:46
they'll actually be thankful that this piece of information has you've taken the care to transmit this to them so that's um both my sort of big vision view of it in a small vision view yeah and it's it's great ken and i love how um you know both of your responses require us to remain connected and remain empathetic which actually brings me you know i've
02:08:17
got my own pessimism in optimism and on a good day i can hold them both at the same time right right my pessimism comes from this overall sense that again uh what social media is kind of doing to us collectively and i'm seeing massive regression all around you know when i look out i see on the left pretty much a massive regression back to amber yeah right yep and on the right i'm seeing a massive regression back to red so i agree the dichotomy between wokism
02:08:51
both of which are hijacking these political parties right so that makes me kind of pessimistic because and then i also can track the fact that uh our measurement of empathy rates continues to decline generation after generation as it has been for the last i think 20 25 years or so yeah that makes me super concerned because you would think if that pig is moving through the python right right everything is on schedule and moving forward you would think that those empathy rates would slowly increase and instead
02:09:22
they're decreasing and that makes me feel like sometimes i get i despair a little bit i'm like i feel like we're a little bit farther away from the mark than we were 20 years ago because of the quality and that sucks that's using marxism in a correct way that's what i'm trying to do right yeah yeah so that's that's that's my that's my concern now the funny thing is that same hopefully healthy marxism is also the source of my optimism right because i also know that when green emerged
02:09:52
it didn't emerge in a vacuum it emerged because the life conditions in the lower right quadrant were such that it required this transformation to green and the good news here is what we're talking all that pessimism we just talked about these are our life conditions right this is sort of the circumstance and the condition that's going to call integral forward in the first place but it's going to be a messy path obviously and i think that ken this is i said i see one of the core
02:10:22
challenges even in how for example um the left the green let's just say green i'm going to say even healthy green the way healthy green relates to things like immigration for example or multiculturalism let's just keep it at multiculturalism because i think that one of the traps is that okay so we know that amber there's really no such thing as it's just monoculturalism it's segregation it's keep these people apart at orange we begin to have hints of multiculturalism but it's a particular flavor it's more like assimilative right it's like
02:10:55
let's have everyone join in to this one superior mono culture and get rid of all these ethnic differences let's just be universal together green here's the trap i see green in today green is in the strap where it recognizes that if we want to be multicultural then we need to be multicultural which means we need to actually find a way to preserve some of the characteristics and qualities of each of these ethnic groups for example so we in a way we want to preserve ethnocentric identities right because
02:11:27
that's what multiculturalism means like all these different ethnic groups living side by side without sort of asserting superiority over each other and yet they they don't know how to do that without themselves backsliding into ethnocentric thinking right so this to me is like this is the royal road to integral because only by making these sorts of integral distinctions a can we even frame the problem in a useful way whatsoever right and say okay well no we do want this entire spiral
02:11:57
and it's okay for people to have an ethnic identity and a world citizen identity and guess what guys a supreme identity that's sitting behind it all you know i mean this is one of the cool things about how integral and i'll just say i appreciated how you framed your own work as in a certain kind of way an extension of the postmodern right project because postmodern green can also be viewed as pre-integral right and we take up a lot of the important thing
02:12:27
themes of post-modernism right and elevate them identity is still important at integral it's just deepened you're not limited to just these types and these ethnicities and so forth so this this side this i think helps us as integralists build a better bridge to the green altitude hopefully set up some better guardrails so that they can we can remind them of how healthy they're supposed to be like i said earlier we can remind them that they're supposed to actually be pluralistic for one right and that hopefully this in itself
02:12:59
is contributing towards addressing these life conditions that we're now completely immersed in but that's the good news the fact that we're so that we're in so much pain right now is actually good news because we don't grow without pain right so that's how i see it do you read do you do you vibe with that no and and that optimistic reading of marx's approach um it it shows how
02:13:29
marxism can be so useful and also how it also tended to slip away from its users because you can do both sides of an argument because all marxism tells you that there's this technological base supporting this cultural superstructure and and the base can move very quickly and so quickly in fact that the there's a society that develops around the base
02:14:01
and that society can move ahead of the main society and when this happens too fast then according to marx that's when you get revolution right and that's what he felt would happen as the communists took over but of course it didn't quite work out that way but he's got his essential points are largely important but what happened right now is that we did have this creation of social media
02:14:33
and that has even though it took as i say certain geniuses to first create the web and computer and ai and all of that that could move once it was out there anybody could use it and that's what's happened to social media is a couple of geniuses pulled it together and now seven billion people are using it and they can
02:15:04
just be completely insane on this stuff which is unfortunately the way it's tending to go you know the word smartphone is very uh ironically named yes exactly so yeah um brilliant absolutely brilliant stuff and you know all i can all i can think of is just um you know all i can really feel right now is my gratitude to be able to have these conversations with you along the way as the rest of us try to
02:15:36
figure out how to navigate again the life conditions that are going to make this stuff relevant in the first place yeah i'm just so overjoyed that every month you and i get to get together and create this sort of what are hopefully a breadcrumb trails of like attractors for people to start generating better conversations more compassionate conversations more you know more genuine empathy and not the sort of idiot compassion stuff that we see getting bandied about these days um and it's just such a a privilege and an
02:16:06
honor to do this with you man well it's my delight and i think you are a wonderful conversation partner oh well thank you so much man all right ken thank you okay as always for your time and we'll see you next month okay all right buddy bye guys thank you for joining us take

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