Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Haunted from the past

I referenced the TFA and TOE thread in a recent post. In rereading it I found something to bring here, some older notions that are infecting my current ruminations. From this post and the 2 following it in the link:

In Chapter 6 of Goddard’s Transpersonal Theory he reiterates something I said in the Krishnamurti 2 thread about Gebser. Previous structures are not holonically subsumed into the next higher structure. The lower structures continue to develop laterally within the dominant higher structure. However successively higher structures up to the mental-ego are by nature “divisive” or exclusive into a higher-lower polarity whereby one pole is dominant, and higher tends to at least consciously (epistemologically) subsume the lower. Nonetheless ontologically the repressed (and previous) pole (structure) continues to develop but unconsciously and it is not until the so-called centaur structure (Geber’s IA) that we begin the return arc of integration of our formerly repressed structures. This conscious return then finds those previous structures having gone through their own developments unbeknownst to us so that they are not the immature magical and mythical worldviews they were on the upward arc of development. Add in the conscious ego’s recognition and integration of them and we get an IA structure that holds all of the structures as they are without contradiction.

Here are some relevant excerpts from the above referenced chapter 6. Keep in mind that he is using astrological signs as metaphors, not as a literal, pre-modern belief system.

"But rather than pure cycles that illustrate simple change and development within an established pattern, the cycles are actually spirals depicting emergent properties mapped as an evolutionary trajectory with reference not only to the two horizontal axes (Horizon and Meridian) but also to an implicit vertical axis. Viewed in this way, we can represent different levels of consciousness mapped as ascending spirals of evolutionary development or as descending spirals of regression through time.

"In subsequent cycles of development, the new level of Aries would optimally signify a higher level of development than the Virgo stage of the previous cycle. But no principle, or person manifesting the principle, can be said to be innately higher or lower than any other by virtue of its simple location on the two-dimensional wheel.... For example, psychologically speaking, a lower level of the first sign Aries includes instinctual precipitous action and aggression while a higher manifestation would be pioneering courage, strong and appropriate assertiveness. Astrologers have called these higher and lower expressions or manifestations of each archetype, the higher and lower octaves of a sign, house or planetary configuration which in terms of spatial modelling, require mapping along an axis at right angles to the two axes describing the zodiacal circle.

"As any developmental line—of an individual or culture—proceeds from one archetypal configuration through another, each subsequent astrological category does not (as already said) stand higher than the previous category even though optimally a higher level is reached. The emergence of a subsequent dimension (e.g. Taurus following Aries; Gemini following Taurus) is a product of a certain relative limit reached, a certain learning that takes place in terms of the former at a particular level; but rather than being subsumed in a ‘superior’ subsequent (horizontal) archetypal structure, the former structure optimally continues to grow and develop along with the subsequent archetypal structure once the breakthrough to the new level has occurred."

I'd like to refresh this idea of “higher octaves” noted above. One understanding is that a lower “level” like aries (red) continues to develop within itself while higher levels like reason (orange) overtake and subsume it. This within a level octave phasing can be described by kennilingual fusion-differentiation-integration, or spiral dynamics enter and exist with a stabilized node between. (But this doesn't have to be in an subsuming inclusivist way per above.) Another sense in that when a “cycle” of levels has run its course, e.g. a “tier” say from red to green, another tier or octave is begun, aka second tier.* So there is some validity to kennilingus (I've never disputed that). And of course this second tier hinges around what we might label Gebser's integral-aperspectival level, which itself has its own developmental phases from entry to stable to exit. (Or does it?) So there is lateral, translative and legitimate debate about exactly what constitutes this new level and how it operates, even how levels are organized via nested holarchies or otherwise, since apparently there are new rules (to be enacted) that have heretofore been unavailable. The “real and false reason” thread gives a good genealogy of the various ways this legitimation process is playing out.

*E.g., in spiral dynamics yellow is aka a higher octave of the very first vmeme. See this faq, for example, which says: 

"Graves also began to see a similarity between GT (yellow) being and the first level, AN (beige), since both look to individualistic survival. Thus the designation, A'N' rather than GT to suggest the possible repetition of a basic theme.... Successful living at each level produces the new existential problems and energy to look to the next system. Graves' letter pairs include the first tier of AN through FS; the second tier of primes A'-N' through F'-S'; the third tier of double-primes (A''-N'', etc.) and so on.... The repeating pattern of 6-on-6 was a hypothesis; not a demonstrable fact."** 

Interestingly, turquoise is a spiral octave above purple, as is coral above red. We might see some of these earlier and repetitive dynamics playing out in this legitimation battle for defining, and thereby controlling (or not), the higher (v)memes.

** Incidentally, this 6-on-6 structure seems remarkably similar to Goddard's ideas.



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