Sunday, April 21, 2013

Levels are discontinuous and autonomous

Continuing from this post:

In the last reference as to a body being the right quadrant of any left quadrant consciousness, then body in this sense isn't just a lower level but has an equivalent level, even for the highest inner level. So we can see that putting the body in the left quadrant as a lower level is problematic.

Another problem per Gebser is that prior consciousness-body levels aren't really levels in that they are transcended and included or enfolded in the next level, for they are discontinuous mutations. Recall this post, which was during an extended discussion of basic-transitional structures on p. 1 of the "ladder, climber, view" thread.

The following excerpt is about Eric Weiss, “Jean Gebser: the mutation of structures of consciousness” presented at Esalen’s CTR first annual invitational conference on evolutionary metaphysics, December 2006. To be fair, this doesn't take into account Wilber's differentiation of cogntive structures with worldviews. It does highlight though the discontinuous nature of said views.

"To read Gebser in a Hegelian manner, as Ken Wilber does with his popular slogan 'transcend and include,' is, in a sense, to grasp the letter of Gebser while missing the living spirit of his work. Gebser himself discussed the limits of the famous Hegelian dialectic. He said that because mental thought tends to be dichotomizing, it necessitates the generation of a third term to move toward reconciliation. But even this third term (the Hegelian 'synthesis') is in turn split again as the overall process marches onward. Gebser saw this dialectic as an unsatisfying expression of the deficient phase of the mental structure of consciousness (which will be described below). Overall, Weiss wanted to be clear that Gebser's thought should not be mistaken for a new version of Hegelianism, nor should it be reduced to it, and in his own life Gebser tried to distance himself from Hegel's work.

"Weiss said that Gebser was clear that his work did not describe a linear evolution, development, or progress of consciousness. Instead, he claimed that the process described in book The Ever-Present Origin was more complex and nuanced. Gebser used the term 'mutation'to describe the process of moving from one consciousness structure to another, but this was not intended to reduce the development of consciousness to a biological metaphor. Rather, he used this term to emphasize the discontinuous nature of the various structures of consciousness. The word 'mutation' connotes the sense of a leap that is more sudden in comparison to the gradualism of Darwin's biological evolution. Gebser viewed each structure of consciousness as a latent possibility or inherent disposition within Origin – i.e., within the ultimate origin of all that is. He saw humanity as naturally predisposed to the discontinuous transformations that have taken place during the course of history and pre-history. But crucially for Gebser, the later mutations do not 'transcend and include,' as in Wilber's model of evolution. Instead, they are discontinuous and autonomous modes of awareness, each of which has its own intrinsic validity, and for which the perception and appearance of time and space are radically different."

Leaving aside for the moment the metaphysical notion that each structure was inherent in Origin, note that each structure (consciousness and body) "are discontinuous and autonomous." This is much more akin to Luhmann's statement above, and Bryant's strange mereology. And my for now incipient and somewhat nebulous attempts to translate them into kennilingus.

It also confirms Bryant's notion that there is no teleos (eros) to the process, that each autonomous 'stage' was due to material-energetic conditions on the ground, so to speak. Recall this post, also in the same thread as the last post, dealing with involutionary rather than evolutionary givens. Excerpt:

Wilber notes this:

“So, even though certain epochs were especially marked by a particular worldview -- foraging, by magic; agrarian, by mythic; and industrial, by mentalrational, for example -- nonetheless, all of these major modes of interpreting our experience seem to be potentials of the human organism, and any of them can be brought forth in any individual under the right circumstances.”

The more postmetaphysical, pragmatic and pomo worldview and SD [not SDi] might argue that life conditions are more likely the evolutionary co-creators of stages of consciousness and worldview formation, not metaphysical involutionary givens, even as amorphous potentials.

No comments:

Post a Comment

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