Friday, August 24, 2018

What is integral postmetaphysical spirituality?

From Bauwens and Berge's paper:

Integral is the general term originally used to refer to Wilber's integral theory, or the integration of body, mind, soul and spirit in self, nature and culture. The idea is that there are increasing levels of progressive development within all those domains, and to explore how those domains interrelate. Metaphysics generally refers to the exploration of reality. Postmetaphysics then is a kind of metaphysics but without some of the assumptions and premises traditionally associated with that study. Those include the notion that humanity can accurately perceive reality as such either through some meditative state of consciousness, and/or through the notion of pure Platonic forms via abstract, a priori reason. The postmetaphysical turn in philosophy (see Habermas below) instead grounds metaphysics in the empirical study of intersubjective cultural communication and (see Thompson below) second generation cognitive science which sees the topic as embodied, enacted, embedded and extended is all domains. Wilber also explores this in the referenced book. All the above is then applied to the domain of spirituality, which also evolves through these developmental changes.

So how then does spirituality express postmetaphysically? First of all it is no longer a domain diametrically opposed to the material domain. Another hallmark of metaphysical thinking is this opposition, with the spiritual or absolute domain the source and cause of the material or relative domain. Postmetaphysical spirituality acknowledges the virtual realm, akin to the absolute realm, but in a very different relationship with the actual or material domain. The virtual domain is still generative of the actual, but its own genesis lies not in a metaphysical plane but within its relationship to the actual in a cogenerative process.

The meta-awareness of meditative states is often contextualized as something that transcends the world of manifestation by directly perceiving the absolute. But Thompson and other neuroscientific researchers see such a state as an embodied, pre-personal base state of consciousness, a naturalist conception of the embodied mind. What is being accessed is a baseline attention that is fully embodied and thereby limited by that embodied constraint. Such a consciousness without an object doesn’t lay claim to access to the reality of all, or even access to all of our personal cognitive unconscious or collective unconscious. It’s just accessing that embodied part of our natural awareness available to us by virtue of having the body and brain we do with all its limitations. Furthermore, the above research makes clear that meta-awareness itself is not strictly an individual affair but rather involves internalized social cognition and interaction with the natural environment. Hence spiritually in this context is not only about a syntegration within the domains of self, culture and nature but also between them.

Footnote 2:

Bryant (2011b) discusses how Bhaskar sees the difference between the transcendent and transcendental. The former assumes a metaphysical foundation for knowledge as described above. Transcendental deduction bypasses such a framing by speculating on what virtual preconditions must be supposed for knowledge to be possible. The virtual by this definition is multiple and immanent without any need of a transcendent, metaphysical underpinning.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.