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Integral Panendeism

       Integral Panendeism is Panendeism combined with the Integral theory of Ken Wilber among others.  It's comprised of those philosophies and teachings that seek a comprehensive understanding of humans and the universe by combining scientific and spiritual insights. The term Integral means "dealing with the body, mind, heart, and soul." 

     The primary purpose of Integral Panendeism is to give the individual deist a possible framework for initiating a contemplative practice. Most traditions with a Contemplative path are rooted in mythic based terminology. Because Deism stems from the rational base, the Integral Panendeistic Model attempts to relate this concept in a graph/flowchart manner.

 

"The Holon" 

    A holon (Greek: holos, "whole") is something that is simultaneously a whole and a part. The word was coined by Arthur Koestler in his book The Ghost in the Machine (1967, p. 48).

    A holon is a system (or phenomenon) that is a whole in itself as well as a part of a larger system. It can be conceived as systems nested within each other. Every system can be considered a holon, from a subatomic particle to the universe as a whole.  On a non-physical level, words, ideas, sounds, emotions—everything that can be identified—is simultaneously part of something, and can be viewed as having parts of its own.

    Since a holon is embedded in larger wholes, it is influenced by and influences these larger wholes.  And since a holon also contains subsystems, or parts, it is similarly influenced by and influences these parts.  Information flows bidirectionally between smaller and larger systems.  When this bidirectionality of information flow and understanding of role is compromised, for whatever reason, the system begins to break down: wholes no longer recognize their dependence on their subsidiary parts, and parts no longer recognize the organizing authority of the wholes. Cancer is a good example of this breakdown in the biological realm.

    A hierarchy of holons is called a holarchy.  It is a natural hierarchy in the sense that it is objective rather than subjective.

    Ken Wilber comments that the test of holon hierarchy is that if a type of holon is removed from existence, then all other holons of which it formed a part must of necessity cease to exist too.  Thus an atom is of a lower standing in the hierarchy than a molecule, because if you removed all molecules, atoms could still exist, whereas if you removed all atoms, molecules would cease to exist.  Wilber's concept is known as the doctrine of the fundamental and the significant.  A hydrogen atom is more fundamental than an ant, but an ant is more significant.

 

    According to this theory, every holon has "four quadrants", or perspectives.  These four quadrants arise due to the intersection of two distinctions: the Individual and the Collective, and the Interior and the Exterior.  Thus, the four quadrants are...

 

-Individual Interior
-
Individual Exterior
-Collective Interior
-Collective Exterior

 

or

 

I, It, We, Its...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    Now we will review some of the other conscepts that are important to an Integral approach to spirituality according to Integral Panendeism.  These conscepts are as follows; Stages, States, Lines, and Types.   

 Developmental Stages, Levels, Waves, & Structures

    There is abundant evidence that some aspects of cognition, morals, psychosexuality, needs, object relations, motor skills, and language acquisition proceed in developmental stages, much as an acorn unfolds into an oak through a series of process phases (Alexander and Langer, 1990; Loevinger, 1976; Wilber, 2000b). These stages or levels of development are not the rigid, linear, rungs-in-a-ladder phenomenon portrayed by their critics, but rather appear to be fluid, flowing, overlapping waves (Beck and Cowan, 1996).

    In the human psyche, what exactly are the nature of these levels?  Basically, they are levels of consciousness, which appear to span an entire spectrum from subconscious to self-conscious to superconscious (Murphy, 1992; Wade, 1996; Wilber, 1986 2000b).  This overall spectrum of consciousness is well-known to the world's major wisdom traditions, where one version of it appears as the Great Chain of Being, which is said to range from matter to body to mind to soul to spirit (Smith, 1976).  The Great Chain is perhaps a misnomer.  It is not a linear chain but a series of enfolded spheres: it is said that spirit transcends but includes soul, which transcends but includes mind, which transcends but includes body, which transcends but includes matter.  Accordingly, this is more accurately called "the Great Nest of Being."    "Spiral Dynamics"    Another version developed more recently called "Spiral Dynamics" is based on the works of Dr. Clare W. Graves and was developed further by Don Beck and Chris Cowan.  This model is characterized by it's use of colors to demarcate the change from one stage to the next.  The stages charactorize the development in world views... 1 BEIGE (A-N)  Archaic-instinctive - the world is based on biological urges/drives; physical senses dictate the state of being.  2 PURPLE (B-O) Animistic-tribalistic - threatening and full of mysterious powers, spirit beings which must be placated and appeased.  "The way of the ancestors."  3 RED (C-P)   Egocentric-exploitive - the world is like a jungle where the tough and strong prevail while the weak serve; nature is an adversary.  "My way or the Highway."  4 BLUE (D-Q)  Absolutistic-Mythic order - the world is controlled by a Higher Power that punishes evil and eventually rewards good works and Right living.  "The one right way."  5 ORANGE (E-R)  Multiplistic-Rational - the world is full of resources to develop and opportunities to make things better and bring prosperity.  "The most successful way."  6 GREEN (F-S)  Relativistic-personalistic - the world is the habitat wherein humanity can find love and purposes through affiliation and sharing. "All ways are equally valid."  Second Tier  7 YELLOW (A'-N' or G-T)  Systemic-integrative - the world is a chaotic organism where change is the norm and uncertainty a usual  state of being.  "The best way for now, all views are considered."  8 TURQUOISE (B'-O' or H-U) Holistic - the world is a delicately balanced system of interlocking forces in jeopardy in human hands. "The way can be known, but not by conceptual mind alone."  9 CORAL (C'-P' or I-V) should tend to be I-oriented, controlling, consolidating - if the pattern to date holds. (Cowan and Todorovic 2001-2004)      Each stage transcends but includes the previous stage.  Therefore someone who has reached a "Green" stage of development can still exibit "Red" or "Blue" behaviors and world views depending upon existencial conditions.      For more information on Spiral Dynamics please visit spiraldynamics.org       "Loevinger's Stages of Ego Development"
Another model that was developed by psychologist Jane Loevinger emphasized the gradual internalization of social rules and the maturing conscience for the origin of personal decisions. Her "stages of ego development" include nine sequential stages, each of which represents a progressively more complex way of perceiving oneself in relation to the world.


The stages are as follows...

Infancy
• Presocial
• No ego Not Differentiated from the World
• Symbiotic
• Self-Nonself Differentiation
• Stability of Objects

Impulsive
• Curbed by Restraints, Rewards & Punishments
• Others are Seen as What They Can Give
• "Nice to Me" or "Mean to Me"
• Present-Centred
• Physical but not Psychological Causation

Self-Protective
• Anticipates Rewards & Punishments
• First Self-Control
• "Don’t Get Caught"
• Externalize Blame
• Opportunistic Hedonism

Conformist
• Take in Rules of the Group
• No Self Apart from Others
• Other’s Disapproval is Sanction
• Not Only Fear of Punishment
• Rules and Norms not Distinguished
• Rejects Out-Group
• Stereotypes Roles
• Security = Belonging
• Behaviours Judged Externally not by Intentions

Self-Aware
• Self Distinct from Norms & Expectations
• First Inner Life
• Banal Feelings Always in Reference to Others
• Pseudo-Trait Conceptions
• Modal Stage of Adults

Conscientious
• Goals and Ideals
• Sense of Responsibility
• Rules are Internalized
• Guilt is From Hurting Another, not Breaking Rules
• Having Self Apart from Group
• Standards are Self-Chosen
• Traits are Part of Rich Interior World
• Standards Distinguished from Manners
• Motives and not Just Actions
• Sees Self from Other Point of View

Individualistic
• Distancing from Role Identities
• Subjective Experience as Opposed to Objective Reality
• Greater Tolerance of Self & Others
• Relationships Cause Dependency
• Awareness of Inner Conflict
• Inner Reality Vs. Outward Appearance
• Psychological Causality and Development

Autonomous
• Inner Conflicts of Needs Vs Duties
• Polarity, Complexity, Multiple Facets
• Integrate Ideas
• Tolerate Ambiguity
• Freeing from Conscience
• Concern for Emotional Interdependence
• Integrates Different Identities
• Self-Fulfillment
• How They Function in Different Roles

Integrated
• Transcendence of Conflicts
• Self-Actualizing
• Fully Worked Out Identity

 

Lines or Streams of Development  
    Are you more highly developed in certain areas than in others? According to Ken Wilber, all holons have multiple lines of development, or intelligences—in fact, over two dozen have been observed. They include cognitive, ethical, aesthetic, spiritual, kinesthetic, affective, motivational, self-identity, musical, spatial, logical-mathematical, karmic, sexual, etc. One can be highly developed cognitively (cerebrally smart) without being highly morally developed (as in the case of Nazi doctors). However, he acknowledges, you cannot be highly morally developed without the pre-requisite cognitive development. So not all of the developmental lines are ontologically equivalent.

Here's a graph showing an example of the lines of development in a random person... 

 

 

 

States of Consciousness
    A state is basically a level that is attained only temporarily.  Once you have unlimited access to a state of consciousness, then it is a permanent structure, or a developmental level.
     States of consciousness include: waking, dreaming, dreamless sleep, and nondual.  Thus it is theoretically possible for someone at a low cognitive level—a newborn, for instance—to experience an advanced state.

The  Four Realms

    Gross - the Gross realm is usually associated or identified with matter, objective physical reality, the waking consciousness, and the world of the senses.

 

    Subtle - an intermediate link in the ontological gradation or chain of being; more spiritual and intangible than the gross state or body or realm, but not as abstract as the causal.  It is usally associated or identified with deep meditation or dreaming.
 

    Causal - The causal is unmanifest from which manifest arises and includes objects, images, principles in their potential formless form such as wants, wishes, attractions, or aversions, impression, deep habit patterns, the motivation for actions. The causal is visited when in dreamless sleep and accessing the subconscious mind.  


    Nonduality is a state of consciousness or mode of being which does not recognize an absolute distinction between manifestation and the unmanifest. It is considered the ultimate stage of consciousness. The nonduality is sometimes called "the Absolute".
    Religions and spiritual views with nondual practices in them often have differing practices around the non-dual.   Whether this is accessed through simple realization, through transmission, or through grace. 


 

 Pre/trans fallacy

    The American writer Ken Wilber posits that psychological development moves from the pre-personal, through the personal levels of development, to the transpersonal.  In essence, this is an expansion of standard developmental psychology beyond the ordinarily accepted end-point of development, the mature adult ego.
    Wilber maintains that this model is in conflict with simpler two-stage models of psychological development (be they from personal to transpersonal levels or the more mainstream view of pre-personal to personal levels). Uncritical use of a two-stage model of psycho-spiritual development can lead to one or both of the version of the 'pre/trans fallacy': either mistaking pre-personal material as spiritual (the elevationist fallacy), or mistaking the transpersonal for pre-personal (the reductionalist fallacy). He defines the 'PTF' thus:


   "In any recognized developmental sequence, where development proceeds from pre-x to x to trans-x, the pre states and the trans states,  because they are both   non-x states, tend to be confused and equated, simply because they appear, at first glance, to be so similar." (Wilber 2000)

 

Types 

    These are valid distinctions that are not covered under Wilber’s other categorizations. Masculine/feminine, the nine Enneagram categories, and Jung's archetypes and typologies, among innumerable others, are all valid types in Wilber's schema. Wilber makes types part of his model in order to point out that these distinctions are different from, and in addition to the already mentioned distictions: quadrants, lines, levels and states.

 

 

Misc Terms

    Involution is the process by which the Many is created from out the Absolute is called the Involution. Once that process ends, the process of evolution begins. In essence the evolution begins with creation (or in scientific cosmology the Big Bang) and continues with all that follows.
    The involution is the process by which the Absolute manifests the creation, the universe. It is the process by which the Many emerged from the One as a universe of divided, ignorant forms. The involution is that which occurred that enabled the creation, the universe, the cosmos to manifest from out of the Original Principle, the Divine, God, the Absolute. Involution is the process of self-limitation, of densification, by which the Absolute veils itself by stages until it assumes the appearance in the cosmos, the universe we know of. It wishes to create the universe to objectify itself and its spiritual properties in infinite possibilities, for the purpose of delight of discovery which it will achieve thereafter.

 

 

 

   The great nest of being is a classical and western medieval conception of the order of the universe, whose chief characteristic is a strict hierarchical system. 

    It is a conception of the world's structure that was accepted, and unquestioned, by most educated men from the time of Lucretius until the Copernican and Darwinian revolution and the ultimate flowering of the Renaissance. The chain of being is composed of a great number of hierarchal links, from the most basic and foundational elements up through the very highest states of being.

 

    "In the manifest world, what we call "matter" is not the lowest rung in the great spectrum of existence, but the exterior form of every rung in the great spectrum. Matter is not lower with consciousness higher, but matter and consciousness are the exterior and interior of every occasion."  Ken Wilber

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    The Good, The True, and The Beautiful are three popular virtues that correlate to the "Big Three" aspects of realty   which  are respectively The Intersubjective, The Objective, and The Subjective.  These three aspects can also been seen as aspects of spiritual experience.

 

The three faces of God or the three main perspectives on God are as follows:

 

"I" - God in 1st person: the true Self, Buddha-nature, the eternal "I am".


"Thou" - God in 2nd person: the almighty Other, the Savior, the ego-humbling Divine.


"It" - God in 3rd person: the Kosmic evolutionary process, the Web of Life.

 

    Integeral Panendeism attempts to recognize, integrate, and transcend these three perspectives on God.