Saturday, July 20, 2013

Branches and folds

From my latest post in the IPS states/stages/lattice thread.

I'd like to bring in work from the real/false reason thread starting with this post and several following. Hampson quotes Marchand citing Labouvie-Vief that “the term postformal may not imply a progression in formal complexity. Instead, it could mean that…formal thinking forms a base from which thought branches out [my emphasis] into more nonformal domains” (124). Then quoting Grof:

“The psyche has a multidimensional, holographic nature, and using a linear model to describe it will produce distortions and inaccuracies. … My own observations suggest that, as consciousness evolution proceeds [from Authentic to Transcendent consciousness] and beyond, it does not follow a linear trajectory, but in a sense enfolds into itself" (144).

This is followed by a quote from Marchand herself reiterating the above and suggesting that stages earlier than reason require an integration that heals the metaphysical ego split. Labouvie-Vief concurs while noting that split in inherent to Piaget's assumptions, the very basis for the kennilingual notion of stages inherited from the likes of Commons' MHC.

In this post and then several following. There I noted that the advance into egoic rationality required a temporary and partial separation of abstract ego from the body ego and the 'lower' mind,* thus producing a metaphysical split. Hence the advance into the 4 postformal stages (or lateral phases) of Commons et al. are tainted by this split and maintain this false reason. Gidely using Gebser calls it deficient reason.

"For Gebser, integral-aperspectival [IA] consciousness is not experienced through expanded consciousness, more systematic conceptualization or greater quantities of perspectives. In his view such approaches largely represent over-extended, rational characteristics. Rather it involves an actual re-experiencing, re-embodying and conscious reintegration of the living vitality of magic-interweaving, the imagination at the heart of the mythic-feeling and the purposefulness of mental conception thinking, their presence raised to a higher resonance, in order for the integral transparency to shine through” (111).

Hence I put them on the horizontal plane because they likely are a branching out of formal reason and they do not lead to the higher stage of IA consciousness. The latter for all the above sources involves folding back to heal the ego split and its metaphysical assumptions, all maintained in the likes of Commons postformal descriptions as well as in the more traditional meditative traditions. IA consciousness requires something missing from both approaches as well as something contained in both approaches.

And again, a key to moving this forward is why this thread started, knowing what elements or basic structures to include from prior stages while leaving behind the worldviews in toto. Granted we still acknowledge prior worldviews in accepting and allowing others to be in them as appropriate, but IA does not operate from them. It seems Gebser himself did not fully understand this distinction and hence some conflation.

* See Damasio and Thompson's work for more refined definitions starting with this post and then branching out forward and backward. (I couldn't resist the pun-metaphor.)

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