Monday, 28 April 2014

A Letter To Einstein

Franklin Merrell-Wolff's MandalalPhoto of Franklin Merrell-Wolff

  The following letter was written before Franklin wrote Pathways Through to Space. Perhaps it was Albert Einstein’s statement about mysticism that prompted Franklin to write.San Fernando, CA
January 11, 1931
Dr. Albert Einstein
California Institute of Technology
Pasadena, CA
Esteemed Sir:
There has just come before my attention a brief statement of your beautiful mystical philosophy or Cosmic Religion and it has flashed into my consciousness with rather an overwhelming force that you have become the focal point for the expression of a true religious basis that has become a crying need in the Occident which can no longer be satisfied in its depths by the outworn creeds and forms of current religiosity.
It seems to me that Count Hermann Keyserling has correctly stated the problem when he said that the soul-need of the Occident in the present day that are intellectually or scientifically unsatisfactory. There has been a general intellectual awakening which has extended too far for large portions of mankind to be satisfied spiritually by forms that are intellectually crude or scientifically untrue. At the same time this intellectual enlightenment has not gone far enough to be safe save with the few.
In other words intellectual development has proceeded so far ahead of its necessary moral modulus that there is real danger of our present intellectual construction proving to be a Frankenstein monster turning upon and destroying its creator. The moral debacle of the recent Great War only too clearly shows the danger threatening our civilization. As Bertrand Russell put it, we are in a position where either we must rise much higher than ever realized in known history or we will fall much lower.
There is a question in my mind but that the spiritual principles enunciated by the Liberated Sages of the past are eternal and are adequate for every inner need of man. I refer to figures such as Gautama Buddha, Shankara, Jesus, Lao-tzu and others of similar grade of spiritual insight. But the old forms of expression of these immortal men are no longer vital today except with a limited number who are themselves more or less liberated. The need is, as I see it, for a new vehicle of expression that will be convincing to the form of intellectual consciousness which dominates the world today, especially the Occident. It is this need which it seems to me you are supplying as no one else does and perhaps as no one else can. This is true because of your unquestioned dominance in the key-science of all physical sciences.
Our need is in large part an effective language. I am not using the term “language” with its purely surface connotation of words, sentences, etc., but in the sense of a form adequate to carry significance to consciousness at its present stage of development. The poetic and imaginative forms of the Hindus were adequate in their setting, but they are not convincing to our modern scientific field. Yet at present it is impossible to get anything like an adequate vehicle for the expression of Significance without drawing upon the Sanskrit. This is for the reason that there are vast numbers of Sanskrit terms conveying shadings of meaning that are quite inexpressible in current English terms or in the forms of any European language. In my opinion the one exception to this statement is found in the field of mathematics.
As my own college studies centered on the domain of mathematic, especially in connection with it correlation with philosophy or metaphysics, I have had some realization of the profound mysticism which underlies the whole of mathematics and becomes especially marked in the field of the transfinite. It is literally true that it was through this antecedent training in mathematics that I was able to see the thought of men like Gautama Buddha and Shankara as a rational whole grounded in mystical profundity. I have no doubt that within mathematics lies the same underlying Wisdom which forms the common substance of all great Sages. Is it not possible, then, that somehow out of mathematics, or mathematics in combination with physical science we will find the adequate language to express mystical profundity in a form which will command both the attention and respect of our present externally intellectualized public? It is my conviction that such is the case and that you have become in a peculiar way the focal point for such expression.
I am not blind to the fact that there are other mystical modes which stand in a position that is complemental rather than consonant with the one you so well express. Count Keyserling, I should say, is the most prominent exemplar of this complemental mode that we see upon the Occidental horizon today. He views mathematics as the most external instead of the most internal mode of thought. At this point, I must confess that he irritates me. But none the less I find him creatively stimulating in a most profound sense and there is no doubt but that his consciousness is rooted well in the deeps of profundity.
Between the currents which you and he represent there is a striking incompatibility. Now as I look back over known instances of mystical and metaphysical realization I find the continuance of these two modes quite persistent. Thus the Krishna of Indian tradition has much in common with Keyserling while the exquisite rational spirit of Shankara is a continuation of the same fundamental line you have expressed. It seems to me that the significance contained in the presence of these apparently antithetical modes is that they are really complemental aspects of a primary Reality which in its own Being is essentially inexpressible. The keynote of these two modes seems to be expressed in a synthesis through Vitality, represented by Keyserling, and a synthesis through Intelligence, represented by you. Or to use terms I have found helpful, the first mode is rooted in Perception and the second in Apperception.
I find myself in the same profound harmony with your thought that I find when I read Shankara. It seems in both cases that I am reading the expression of my most inward realization, only in a thought language more beautifully finished than I am able to produce. Now, as I feel this fundamental sympathy with what you have said, I have presumed to write you relative to playing a part in nurturing that current that has found a fount in you. It is true that spiritual and mystical sources are original and therefore superior to any human authority. But those human units who can stand on this primary basis alone and unaided are all too few. The majority require an image to which to attach their faith until in time they also have grown the strength to stand alone.
The Buddhas and the Christ and the other Sages serve us in a twofold way. They bring us the precepts born out of the intimate union with Wisdom and also they themselves become concrete images to sustain and inspire men, the vast majority of us who are not yet freed. I suggest that you, more than any other in this day, stand in a position to perform this transcendent service. For you are a recognized master in just precisely the field that even the hardest minds among us must perforce respect. Hence you are peculiarly the basis in the West for the expression of that which the politico-religious Sage of present day India has called Satyagraha or “Truth-Force.”
I am well aware that every true Sage dreads to become himself a central figure or focus of attention of devotees. As Plato said long ago, the Sage ever seeks solitude and isolation from the rush of affairs. But in the name of the common good Plato proposed in his Republic to compel these very Sages to take the limning place in the forefront among men. For they alone who have reached that point of Wisdom where they fain would shun the focus of multitudinous eyes are alone able to sustain themselves effectively upon that altitude. It is not an easy place for the Sage but it affords opportunity for that perfect service which saves many a soul from that morass of despair of lost faith. And the science of today that has build such unexampled power over external nature on one side, has yet in a more serious sense proven a devastating destroyer for the many who through that very science have lost confidence in soul-sustaining Truth Force. Only he who stands strong in the graces of this same science can restore the inner Light which she seems to have destroyed in the eyes of many.
To be sure, no Sage after having once spoken can prevent his ultimate canonization as his uttered words become the public possession. If such a one would avoid this he must from the beginning seal his lips with silence. But you have spoken and your words have become at least a potential Light. I fain would add my part, however small it may be, to the end that that Light may become more fully recognized among men. In this I would value greatly your individual approval, however much you are unavoidably and impersonally already such an illuminating focus for all of us who have seen.
With the esteem that belongs only to the scholar who is also a Sage, I am
Most sincerely yours,
[Unsigned, probably a copy.]

Ken Wilber was quite young when he contacted Franklin. Currently he is well known for his several books. There are several groups studying his Teaching. Unfortunately, this letter arrived when Franklin wasn’t feeling well. Gertrude responded to Dr. Wilber to explain a lack of response.
September 26, 1974
Dear Franklin Merrell-Wolff,
My name is Ken Wilber and I am writing to you to share my enthusiasm of Consciousness without an Object. My research has for years drawn me along the lines you so forcefully explain in Consciousness, and I have long intended to write you of my enthusiasm for your work.
In fact, I have just finished a work on the same subject, and I feel our experience-thoughts so overlap that correspondence with you would prove most fruitful. The work is tentatively entitled The Spectrum of Consciousness, and it deals with what is rather clumsily referred to as the “manifestation” of objects “out of” Consciousness without an object (which I call Absolute Subjectivity).
I hate to burden you by “forcing” the ms [manuscript] on you, but I would like to send you a copy that you can read at leisure. I honestly feel that you would find it interesting, and I believe further that you would be one who better than anybody else could feel what I am humbly trying to write in words.
I ask to send you a copy of the ms because it looks as if I will have trouble getting it published. John White gave a copy to Arthur Ceppos of Julian [Press] who has apparently rejected it because it is “too difficult” for the average reader (so John [Lilly] informs me). No matter. Sooner or later it will be published—I am more interested in your comments on the ms if you feel so inclined, for I feel our correspondence can be a fruitful cross-fertilization of two fields of research with different aims but a common goal.
Kenneth E. Wilber 


Photo of Franklin Merrell-WolffPhoto of Franklin Merrell-Wolff

Integral Semiotics

July 15th, 2013/ Integral Post

Note: This is an excerpt from volume 2 of the Kosmos Trilogy, tentatively entitled Sex, Karma, Creativity—the first volume of which was Sex, Ecology, Spirituality. I have finally finished volume 2, and am doing all the horrid little details required to get a book ready for publication.
Right-click here to download full pdf.
The following deals with a topic I find essential: the nature of linguistic meaning—or semiotics—and how a truly Integral approach fundamentally changes how we understand this. One of the basic moves is to understand that the referent, or “real object,” being represented by any linguistic sign doesn’t exist “out there” in a single, pregiven, unchanging reality, but rather exists in a particular and specific worldspace—a particular quadrant, or level, or line, or state, or type—and can only be “seen” or “experienced” by yourself finding that particular worldspace and moving your consciousness to it.
Thus, a word like “dog” can be seen by virtually any sentient being with a brain and eyes, and it exists in the sensorimotor world. But what about “God” or “Buddha-nature” or “Spirit”? Those are simple signifiers like “dog”—that is, a material mark claiming to represent a reality. But that reality is not just lying around “out there” in a single, pregiven, sensorimotor world—and thus those referents have often been taken to be meaningless.
But my point is that they all, in fact, exist in a specific worldspace that can itself be discovered and experienced—such as the causal or formless state of consciousness, particular stages of meditation, specific peak experiences or altered states. When one is in those worldspaces—and not simply staring at the sensorimotor worldspace—then the actual referents (the “real phenomena” of each referent)—can be clearly seen or experienced. And this changes the nature and meaning of semiotics altogether, by asserting that any given referent of a particular signifier exists in a specific worldspace, and in order to experience that referent appropriately (if it exists at all), the subject must get itself into that particular worldspace, and only then look around for the referent.
Integral Semiotics offers a comprehensive map or framework of most of the known worldspaces available to humans, and thus offers a Map that allows us to understand the Kosmic Address of a particular referent, and hence know where to look for any referent indicated by a signifier. Since most of these worldspaces do not possess simple location or material form, they are likely to be denied reality by most realist, empirical, or behavioral schools—where in fact they are home of the vast majority of those things most humans hold valuable. Integral Semiotics is thus a matter, not just of linguistics, but of emancipation.
—Ken Wilber

Integral Semiotics

Ever since the “linguistic turn” in philosophy, about a century and a half ago, a general fact about language has become more and more obvious: language does not just represent the world, it co-creates it, or at least certain important aspects and ranges of it. Even those worlds that it does not directly co-create (much of the pre-human worlds, such as the atomic and molecular) nonetheless arise in a world that is known and interpreted through the linguistic structures present therein, and thus if not directly created by language, are irrevocably touched and tinged by it.
Which brings us to an integral theory of semiotics in general. As I have previously suggested in outline form, some of the pieces of the puzzle here include Ferdinand de Saussure’s semiology, which maintains that all signs indicating referents are composed of a material (or exterior) signifier and a mental (or interior) signified; Charles Peirce’s semiotics, which maintains that signs are not just dyadic (signifier and signified) but rather triadic (as he put it, “an action, or influence, which is, or involves, an operation of three subjects, such as a sign, its object, and its interpretant, this trirelative influence not being in any way resolvable into an action between pairs”); speech-act theory of J. L. Austin and John Searle; communicative action theory of Habermas; developmental structuralism (e.g., Piaget); and traditional hermeneutics—to mention a prominent few. Although “semiotics” in the narrow sense refers to Peirce's approach to the topic (he invented the word), it is now common to use that term to refer to the entire field of linguistic signs and symbols.
Given the failure of the empiricist, positivist, behaviorist, realist, phenomenological, and representational paradigms to account for the generation of the many varieties of linguistic meaning, the central issue of semiotics (and knowledge in general) has become where exactly to locate the referents of utterances (and how does one deal with that?). This turns out to be incredibly important, because hidden within this topic is really how we determine ontology in general—what is real, and what is merely imagined, mistaken, or idiosyncratic. It even connects to whether we can prove the existence of God in any fashion.
To give a simple example, when I say, “I see the dog,” we can all look and point to the real dog, assuming it’s there. The real dog has simple location in empirical (or sensorimotor) space, and thus locating that referent is fairly easy—we simply point to the real dog and say, “There it is.” But when I say, “George is green with envy because John has already shown that he has more courage,” then where exactly are we to locate “envy” and “courage”? They don’t have simple location in physical space, and thus we can’t point to them empirically. We can’t “put our finger” on them.
Just so, we can’t put our finger on most of the referents of mathematics (where is the square root of a negative one?), nor poetry, nor logic, nor any of the virtues—we can’t point to honor or valor or compassion or spiritual knowledge.
Now we are not talking about the notion that all referents, when perceived or even imagined, have some sort of correlative activity in the brain, so that when I read the words “dog,” “square root of negative one,” or “God,” they each light up the brain in a particular way. Those brain activities are not the referents of those words. Because every activity of the human being has some sort of registrant in the human brain, to use brain activity as indicating the location of a referent is actually a massive tautology—all things equally register in the brain, even imaginary and fantasy images. Trying to prove, for example, that meditation is real by hooking meditators up to EEGs or fMRIs and noting the resulting brain pattern proves absolutely nothing, except that yet another phenomena has crossed the brain and lit it up, as all registered items do. Chasing down brainwave patterns when people meditate is one of the great red herrings of modern research.
Of course we need to do it, simply so the exact nature of the correlation between Upper-Left consciousness phenomena and Upper-Right brain phenomena can be mapped out. But we don’t want then to erroneously conclude, as all too often happens, that the brain is therefore the source, origin, and cause of consciousness. This is just another scientific materialistic colonialization of the lifeworld (the disaster of modernity), and furthers our actual knowledge not at all. What we are talking about when we speak of the location of referents is, in addition to brain activity, where in the overall world does the real referent or actual object exist? For most empirically-oriented philosophies (behaviorism to realism), this means “Where in the sensorimotor world does the object exist?”; or even, “Does it exist in the sensorimotor world?” (because if not, then it is usually held to be an unreal or simply imagined phenomena).
When we perceive an apple, and say “I see the apple,” and the brain lights up in a particular way, we do not conclude, “The apple only exists as a brainwave pattern; it otherwise has no reality.”  No, we conclude that the apple is a real object in the real world, and as the brain perceives it, it lights up in various specific ways. But what happens when we say the same type of sentence but a different referent, such as, when engaged in contemplation, “I see God,” and the brain again lights up in a specific way. Do we give to God the same reality we gave to the apple, and conclude that God is a real phenomenon in the real world, and the brain is lighting up as it sees this real item? No, in fact we don’t. In fact, we do just the opposite. We take whatever brainwave pattern we can find at the time—perhaps an increase in gamma waves—and we say, “When the brain produces excess gamma waves, then the subject will imagine that he or she is seeing God.” In other words, where with the apple the brainwaves are taken as extra proof that apples are real, with God, the brainwaves are taken as extra proof that God is just an imaginary object; it’s not real in the real world, but simply an imaginary product of certain brainwave patterns. What’s going on here? And I am suggesting the answer lies in the whole issue of semiotics.
Start with the fact that most of the important issues in our lives do not have simple location, but that does not mean they aren’t real or do not exist. It only means that they cannot be found in physical space with simple location: they cannot be found in the sensorimotor worldspace.
But in addition to the sensorimotor worldspace, there are the emotional, the magical, the mythical, the rational, the planetary, the holistic, the integral, the global, the transglobal, the visionary, the transcendental, and the transcendental-immanent worldspaces, to name a prominent handful. And all of those worldspaces have their own phenomenologically real objects or referents. A dog exists in the sensorimotor worldspace, and can be seen by any holon with physical eyes. The square root of a negative one exists in the rational worldspace, and can be seen by anyone who develops to the dimension of formal operations. And Buddha-nature exists in the causal worldspace, and can be easily seen by anybody who develops to that very real dimension of their own state possibilities.
But neither the square root of a negative one nor Buddha-nature can be seen in the sensorimotor world—and all the philosophies that take the material realm or the sensorimotor realm as the prime reality (or that take consciousness-free ontology as the basic given), will not be able to locate either of those, and will hence conclude they both lack a fundamental reality (unless they go out of their way to make an exception, as, for example, positivism does when it says that all that is real are things and numbers—but too bad for Buddha-nature or Spirit: just can’t be found in the realm of dirt or numbers and thus is unceremoniously erased from the face of the Kosmos.)
In other words, the real referent of a valid utterance exists in a specific worldspace. The empiricist theories have failed in general because they ultimately recognize only the sensorimotor worldspace (and thus cannot even account for the existence of their own theories, which do not exist in the sensorimotor worldspace but in the rational worldspace).
Ferdinand de Saussure, in his pioneering work on linguistics and semantics, divided a “sign” into two parts: first, there is the material mark (written or spoken), which is the “signifier.” All the words on this page are signifiers. Second, there is what comes to mind when you see or hear a signifier, which is called “the signified.” Thus, my dog Fido is the actual object or referent. The word “F-i-d-o” is a signifier, and what comes to your mind when you read “Fido” is the signified (neither of which is the actual object or referent being referred to—which is Fido himself).
The signifier (e.g., the material word “Fido,” “negative one,” or “Buddha-nature” as they are written on this page or spoken by a person) is the Upper‑Right, the actual material mark. The signified (that which comes to mind when you read the word “Fido” or “negative one” or “Buddha-nature”) is the Upper‑Left, the interior apprehension in consciousness. This is what Saussure meant by the material mark (signifier) and the concept it elicits (signified), both of which are different from the actual referent. And, Integral semiotics adds, the actual referent of a valid utterance, to the extent it is valid, exists in a given worldspace—it exists in some dimension of the AQAL matrix which is composed of actual phenomena in any number of quadrants, quadrivium, levels, lines, states, and/or types.
Because all signifiers are by definition material, they can be seen by any animal with physical eyes (my dog can see the physical marks on this page). But the signified can only be seen if the appropriate level of interior development has been attained. Thus, my dog can see the signifier “dog,” but that word has no meaning for him, no signified for him, and thus he cannot know what the referent of that word actually is. Likewise, a six-year old can read the words “the square root of a negative one,” but those signifiers don't have any meaning (nothing is signified), and thus the six-year old cannot grasp the actual referent (the mathematical entity that exists only in the rational worldspace).
Thus, because referents exist only in particular worldspaces, if you have not developed to that worldspace—if you do not possess the developmental signified—then you cannot see the actual referent. Thus, anybody can read the words (the signifiers) that say “Buddha-nature,” but if the person has not developed to the causal dimension, then that word will basically be meaningless (it will not elicit the correct signified, the developmental signified, the interior apprehension or understanding), and thus that person will not be able to perceive Buddha-nature, just as the six-year old cannot perceive the square root of a negative one.
Thus, other people, who have developed to the state-stage of the causal dimension, might forcefully maintain that Buddha-nature exists, Spirit exists, and that everybody possesses it, yet for those who have not developed to the stage of the causal dimension, the notion of “Buddha-nature” or “Spirit” will be “all Greek” to these people, it will be “over their head.”
Hence, all referents exist in specific worldspaces (i.e., in some location in the overall AQAL matrix); all signifiers exist in the material and empirical domain (Upper Right); and all signifieds are actually developmental signifieds, and exist in the Upper Left at some specific altitude (red, amber, orange, green, indigo, etc.).
But signifiers (Upper Right) and signifieds (Upper Left) do not exist in a vacuum. They each have their collective forms and correlates.  The sum total of the collective signifiers—the total form or structure that governs the rules and the codes of the overall system of material signifiers (which, as a collective material system of signifiers, is the Lower Right)—is simply syntax (or grammar), which determines the correct or acceptable fashion in which signifiers are placed in reference to each other.  And the sum total of collective signifieds—the overall actual meaning generated by cultural intersubjectivity (which, as a collective interior system of signifieds, is the Lower Left)—is simply semantics. It was Saussure’s brilliance to spot that the meaning of a sign is not determined by the sign alone, but by the total overall system of signs and the relation of a given sign to all the other signs, not merely its relation to its referent, which is largely arbitrary.
(Take the phrases “the bark of a dog” and “the bark of a tree”—the word “bark” possesses no inherent meaning, but rather gains meaning from the context of other signs in which it finds itself—it means something different in each context—whether it’s referring to the bark of a dog or the bark of a tree. Nor is there anything special about the word “bark”—virtually any word can serve in its place, and in different languages, they do. A few words actually sound—“onomatopoeia”—like the referent they are representing—“growl,” for instance, sounds roughly like the grrrrl sound made by an actual animal, and in these relatively rare cases, there is something of a mild internal connection between the signifier and the referent, but even then an entire system of other signs is required to convey that meaning.)
This gives us a chance to bring together the various semiotic schools I mentioned at the beginning of this summary. For example, by seeing that the signified (Upper Left) arises only in the space of the collective worldview or cultural semantic (Lower Left)—which will serve as the necessary background context for the individual interpretation—Peirce’s triadic and Saussure’s dyadic structure of the sign can be brought into close accord: Peirce’s sign is Saussure’s signifier (both nestled in a system of social syntax); Peirce’s object is Saussure’s referent (both existing in a particular worldspace); and Peirce’s interpretant is Saussure’s signified (both resting in a system of cultural semantics).
We can likewise find room in this integral approach for the important discoveries of postmodernism on the nature of the materialities of communication and the chains of sliding signifiers (Lacan, Derrida), and on the importance of transformative codes in selecting which signifiers will be deemed serious and which marginal (Foucault). Even more important, I believe, we can honor Paul Ricoeur’s “structuralist hermeneutics,” a bold (and partially successful) attempt to integrate formalist explication (structural system or syntax of Lower Right) with meaningful interpretation (cultural hermeneutics and semantics of Lower Left). Ricoeur: “If, then, the intention is the intention of the text, and if this intention is the direction that it opens for thought, it is necessary to understand the deep semantics in a fundamentally dynamic sense; I will hence say this: to explicate is to free [or expose] the structure, that is to say, the internal relations of dependence which constitute the static of the text [the formalist syntax]; to interpret is to set out on the path of thought opened by the text, to start out on the way to the orient of the text [deep semantics].”
In short, individual signifiers are Upper Right (material marks); signifieds are Upper Left (interior apprehensions); syntax or grammar is Lower Right (collective systems and structural rules of language accessed in an objective fashion); semantics is Lower Left (the actual referents of linguistic signs, referents which exist only as disclosed in particular worldviews or worldspaces). If we add ten or so levels of development in each of those quadrants, I believe we will have the beginnings of a truly comprehensive or integral theory of semiotics.

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Would it not be easier and more helpful theoretically to
1. Drop all together conceits that inside or outside has any foundational theoretical bearing upon matters such as Interpretant, Sign and Signified or I - Thou That? Indeed the dimensions of inside and outside are VERY important and have to be worked out on a case by case basis as to the particular application - it is tiresome to see so much needless confusion generated by overdetermining them.
2, drop calling the plural of IT - "its" this is a misuse of language (indicates posession not pluralization)? - and itself points to the fallacy that it is a simple matter of pluralizing singulars to get into the other domain of systems. Why not simply have: I - We - IT and FIELD (which can include Systems and  Group dynamics) - and end the overreach of the notion of simple pronouns of native language determine all fundemental perspectives? Gramatically and in used language they DO NOT!
If we take native language use as legitimizing - consider English has no plural of the pronoun IT - nor adds "s" to signify plural of pronouns -  this should be paid attention to as a valuable intuition about the nature of the significance given to sentient subjects by language. In German the yous/yaa'll is called Ihr. But our languages do not add pronoun types to the plural of the pronoun of the IT domain which emphasises the centrality - not equally peripharility of the SUBJECT to the UMVELT or VELT.  It may be a serious dehumanizing of the SUBJECT in the map - to glibly whitewash this feature of our language systems you wish to point our attention to.
2.1 Be a little suspicious that the four quadrants are equally significant? - the UL and LL are of central significance - SEMINAL while the UR and LR are IMPORTANT, but perhaps never seminal. In any case equal importance is an ideological assumption - people of good will can disagree - the foundational theory sould not predispose one ideology.
In fact im inclined to think - to carefully track the modes of speech as they pertain to holisitic aprroaches - is actually a whole science in itself - and it would be better to use Parson's 4 realms as the introductory format - and use modes of speech as methodology within applications of AQAL not intros to AQAL.
Each of the dimensions of inside/outside; pertaining to vs viewed from; contents of vs approached-by; sentient vs insentient; body vs noetic; infrastuctural vs intersubjective - are subtle issues that are too glibly marshalled as tacitly self-evident in the general outline of the AQAL IMP8. They need instead to be taken up carefully with nuanced introductions as holistic approaches to a particular; be it broad; FIELD of STUDY (not LIFE in general). Not as inherent features of the hueristic lenses. JAMMING THESE ISSUES INTO THE FOUNDATIONAL PREMISES of AQAL or IM8 OVERDETERMINES the field. This would also make AQAL a thousand times easier to take up for thousands more people.
3. Call it Developmental Psychology instead of structuralism? KW talks of Dev Psych - the structuralism of Levis Strauss and Sasurre are not about "phenomenology"  (a term also not really used accurately as to Husserl's enterprise in regard to the continental tradition - as he sought to approach a method for the true development of natrual sciences through phenomenology - precisely not "restrict it" to subjective phenomeonon. Whcih begs the question - do we wish to maintain status quos or give a hueristic that can subvert status quos also if the minority rports are in fact more FUNCTIONAL - more TRUE?)
4. Consider the existential relations of I-Thou, I-It , I -I, it-it and their other permutations - are always operational - framing the attitude of even the AQAL inquiry and others?  Post-Buber critique seems sorely lacking and this is a shame because it is the most valuable fruit of taking pluralistic modes-of-address seriously.
AQAL writings often DO reduce everything to an it-it. ANY introductory map of this "objective map" kind type does so by default. At least consider there may be a liability to always translate everything into an it-it map - especially when your audience is holisitc people.
The excellent question against the positivist conceit of regarding God brain imagary as merely imaginary - is an example of discursive writing that could use the AQAL perspective powerfully - we do not have to peek behind OZ's curtain all the time! More trenchant questionings and criticisms of the conceited paradigms in ascendency please.
4.1 Also to emphasise Koestler's important idea that holons are merely valuable HEURISTICS - and settle nothing as to HOW the COSMOS TRULY ARISES and develops? This is not being emphasised and needs to be emphasised. The lenses are nothing more nor less than heuristics - with a great capacity to prompt holisitic solutions when good questions pertaining to these realms are asked. It should be emphasised the disciplines themselves have the relevance to our modern lives - not the AQAL lense itself - which is nothing more nor less than a means to survey the relevant disciplenes to a particular enterprise. This humbleness will be a great strenght - if the heuristic checklist itself tries to be to privileged, assertive and dominant regarding its 'unique" station in the COSMOS - it will suffer and fail.
5. Take care to distinguish that using AQAL in ones personal LIFEWORLD  is a completely different proposition and enterprise than using it to gathering data and approaches for a Humanities or SOCIAL SCIENCE STUDY? ICC and ILP notwithstanding i feel it is still  is being grossly underplayed that the way the realms play out will be incommensurable given the two radically different enterprises. And perhaps even the same maps are NOT useful for those different enterprises. (Perhaps conceeding it has been a little silly to beleive the same types of maps and exigises had some direct bearing for both in a relatively unproblematic way - hehe)
6. Recognize AQAL is no substitute for having to read Husserl, Weber other pioneers and workers in those methods championed? In LL case to understand the lifeworld and intersubjective -for example - and recognize these disciplines - have active theoretical problems, histories and hidden treasures for us - that are not settled by AQAL theory - and were not just "generated" by prinmordial linguistic perspectives.
I say this because it is vital a Cosmopolitan perspective offerring holisitc alternatives is there for us. Some excellent work has been done by Ken and other AQAL coaches. Let's make it better.

Very impressed with your ability to notice incompleteness, false leads, contradictory perspectives in AQAL. And needs to be heard. The problem I see( not with you) is that for it to be heard the same misdirected map is used for those working on it. Leading to more non clarity.
There is something very misleading about the LR. In all the examples for the systems, it uses singularity of the UR with a corresponding level in the LL. We infer the systems by interrelations that we see in the UR. But the inferring is in mind. Nothing wrong with that except when you make the LR equal in its arising as the other quads. We do not see out there the LR. Interrelations exists but as processes. And fields is a good modeling for this subtle interrelations space. My sense tells me that the LR is really an aspect of the UR that can not be separated as just a plural. Like you say. Where I save the LR is that the noosphere can not be separated from the rightside and all is mind. Doesn't really say much. But if the LR was created to satisfy the modeling of green concepts, it needs to be seen as only in mind. As much as we would like to make interrelational processes a system, and externalize it, there is way more uncontained aspects then contained, leaving a false sense of understanding the system.  Since the uncontained aspects do not lend well to concepts or modeling. Fields help but then our understanding of the electromagnetism and plasma need to be developed so as not to be stuck in closed orientations of particles that do not solve the fields inside of an atom. Particles orientation is a good growing ground but in the end we have put way to small of a box on the science of plasma. If we are going to go with the fields orientation we need to understand how a static field is possible with a transverse wave. Quantum mathematics does the job, until it is shown to depend on smaller and smaller particles to keep the structure afloat, which gets further and further away from fields. What if fields are dependent on a static that is intrinsic at all points. This makes it unobservable but inferable from anther holon. The end result if you take it all the way up and down is void, and not empty space or nothing. If void is the the ultimate static that makes all other dynamics then how does void structure space? This is the question we have not been able to answer. Until we realize that advanced mathematics can be summarized by geometrics of mind only. And if you can see this, which is where the most advanced mathematics is taking place, then Plato was doing something we couldn't since we took a side track in our focus from the big three to the big one , to reentering the space at green in a distorted way from the power of the big one(UR) and get lost trying to systemize that which can never get beyond singularity even though green( turquoise cognition) thinks it can think as a system. The trouble is we can imagine and think of plurals but never think as them. And this is where a MASSIVE amount of confusion happens. The LR is just a massive big thought experiment that has value in mind and interrelations but not a map that holds together compared to the uncontained function of everything we can be aware of. So if everything/process/field (add what you want) is in an uncontained relation ( in time we see the contained aspects) then infinity in at every scale becomes a issue that can not be ignored. And geometric advanced math is the only path for the next step. Like this Quanta. And leads to this post of mine Quantum Gravity. So until turquoise cognition in the sciences can move to the next level, we see expressions that  over emphasis plurality and particle processes and dynamic fields without a static( read infinite singularity, not basic projections of child statics). The more complex a problem gets the resolution is simpler and more integrative. Geometry might seem over simplistic till you realize that 1+1=1 in the vertical and 1+1=2 in the horizontal. Zero chases all numbers to the void. After this realization 2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9 are just a huge orgasms. To bring 1+1=1 into a scientific expression takes cognition above second tier, not just experience, but COGNITION. I now many that have the cognitive potential, but not the experience, and know even more who have the experience but not the cognitive potential. And most of the scientist that we know of don't cut it for both potentials!!!
Really love what you have shared here. That LR is not what it seems? And really makes a mess. I see it as a way to coddle greens aspirations at turquoise cognition. But this level is not going to see how the big three interrelate logistically. Its over there heads. And so that means the AQAL map has many misdirected notions. 4 needs 3 to be able to have 1+1=1 which quantum logic does, not through continuous relations( like fields, weak correlations) but DISCONTINUOUS Instantaneous quantum packets. Solve the three ones first before we move to four. But ken used 2 in the three in continuous relations and just add 4, emphasizing the 1+1=2 aspect. This is a poor foundation but a great dialog. Which will follow me the rest of my days.

There is a desire in all of us, I think, to at least partly reduce LR to UR. We are more comfortable with 3's (good, true & beautiful). However I think that is mostly an indicator of the peculiarity or novelty associated with this domain. Novalis suspects that "field" should replace "its". Yet "field" is also dangerously close to an objective singular item. We are looking at what fields consist of in addition to the nodes or items which they arrange. My tendency is to think of this realm as "protocols" or "syntax" or "behavioral rules". This is a dynamic realm of computations.
Number 5 is UR. Pi is LR. Its extraordinary irrationality proceeds in a direction orthogonal to normal quantities. Transfinites belong here.
The peculiarity exists because although we infer the patterns of system in our minds they are not located therein. That lends a characteristically frustrated, "overcomplicated" or otherwise elusive quality to contemplations of this domain.
I don't think LR was created to satisfy Green assumptions but rather it is the specific "context jumping" skill of Early Vision-Logic (green) Consciousness which enables us to start making regular observations of the contextual-procedural machinery.
Ah, library computer time dying... adieu!

Thanks for your response. Let see if I can express this so the absolutizing does not happen. But first to comment on your response.
"There is a desire in all of us, I think, to at least partly reduce LR to UR. " I do not have this desire. I am not trying to reduce systems to the UR, just that systems are not seperate than the UR. For if you try and show a system, we see a plurality based in singularity, thus the great work of Holons, whole/parts. Those systems go all the way down and up, leaving a unknown other than singularities involvement, plurals do not have a form of "ITS' own. Other than the levels of the LL. If you do not see this give me an example and you should see what I mean. Our systemic awareness is dependent on nodes of singularities. And fields are a good mind experiment but what involved in fields? Gross/Subtle/Causal fields that are also dependent on singularity of form. A "WE" aspect for sure, but that is uncontained and unable to be brought to the rightside other than biology and below, but leaves out the noosphere. And thats my point. I am not saying that the LR does not exsist but that it is a developmental domain that helps evolve orientations. At some point in the systems thinking there comes the awareness that the systems we orient to, contain an open format at EVERY LEVEL. This should not stop sience and system knowledge gathering. But the problem of the "WE" and not just in language, but interobjects( LR) shows limits that demand a reorganization of our orientation from boundaries and exchanges ( network) to handeling how information is present at singularities at there holon level that containes all the information of that holon level within it. Responding not so much from exchanges but adapting instantaniously from changes in all holons discontiniously. Its way over our heads until we solve the issue of singularity to begin with. And systemic orientation is something that confuses the challenge. Our orientation around speed of light, a medium , will not solve it. Cause this is oriented around exchanges. Its a cosmic comedy when we look at Gravity. All exterior orientation can not solve the singularity issue, just using a boundary particle orientation for something that is intinsic and stays intrinsic. Sure it effects exteriors, but we do not see gravity. So we orient around fields, which also will not do for the foundational problem. This leads to working on how intrisic order is structure such that we have an orderly manifestation. This leads to a focus on information, which runs into metaphysics. And for a human being as Integral Theory shows zones outside the interior zones play out than the models of metaphysics. An expression of orientations that do not see the work of Zones 2,4,6,8.
So the LR is a crutch till the issue of singularity is solved for infinty of dimensions. And the LR is broken into the UR for biosphere and below and the LL for noosphere and above. As it is, the AQAL map is a practice of perspective taking. And the LR is just that. But can confuse that the UR has sucessfully modelled singularity. Functional Fit modelling is what we have which is poor science, or old school science. Formulating the model from preconcieved orientations and making the model fit the observations. It works well until a limit is reached. And I am saying that limit is in our orientation around boundaries formed around singularity that we are not able to model with a WE aspect that is contained. Ken does a great job in trying to get the metaphysics out of the perspectives. But what if there is a pattern that is intrinsic to every holon in manifestation. It would integrate the AQAL model so that types, lines ,states are not overlad into the Quads, functional fit modelling at a high level, but it is still a photoshop layer effect. But would have fixation of perspectives in a detailed way and not as genaralities. This problem is being addresses with the GIG database. But I think the the work is expressing the limit that is not being acknowledged. The limit of information oriented in a continious boundary condition, which is solved only with a discontinious quanta infinity boundary.
Like all development, there are cycles. And points that we bring in and developed off of , are returned to from a different perspective gained by the end products of the process, that again look at the original point and see an assumption that was not challenged because the limit was not met yet. This is what I am asking you to do. And taking multiple perspectives without see the issue of singularity to begin with does not help.
An example of what I am talking about is 2D fractals. Shows a limited infinity of solutions. Try to solve for 3D fractals and there is ONE solution. So what looks like a limited infinity of perspectives can turn out to have ONE perspective from a higher,wider, deeper perspective. That is what I am trying to express. And it does change the LR domain dramatically. And the noosphere is respected much more. Such that the LR is no longer on the rightside. You of all people should get this. All is mind.

Hey Brian,
I was not suggesting that you are reducing LR to UR. But, at the same time, I do not think your sense of a supra-AQAL descriptive methodology requires any de-emphasis of the independent status of the LR. Personally, I often de-emphasize the LR for the fairly banal reason that 3 things are more convenient than four. When I see a sign offering services for "body, mind & spirit" I always bitch about why "heart" is missing. Yet I know why it is missing -- four things are too many! So I keep a wary eye on myself in this regard.
It seems to me that first tier conceptions of the LR (such things as "fields" or "exchanges" or "networks") are insufficient. However the presence of dynamic enactment patterns seems irreducible in any model. We can say, of course, that plurals are just plurals of singulars -- but singulars are just singulars of plurals. All the quadrants, both as realities and perspectives, are fundamentally entangled and mutually defined. Any relationship between quadrants can be read in either direction.
When I speak of MOAs, I always mean that there are three levels of meta-theory or vision-logic. The first appreciates alternative perspectives. The second emphasizes their structural complementarity. The MOA-3 tries to super-integrate these elements into a very dense, half-comprehensible model. It looks to me like you are operating in this zone... seeking to specify certain characteristics of a supra-AQAL (or post-integral) map. That is all to the good but it does not necessarily have any special implications about the status of the LR or any other part of the normal AQAL map. And all the elements of the normal AQAL map could be used as alternative bases for the conceptual phraseology of the supra-map.
A singularity intends to transcend quadrants in a certain sense, but it maintains a certain phraseology associated with the UL and UR. We could be discussing "intra-boundary boundaries" or some other exotic notion which would mean pretty much the same thing but root itself in the flavor of the LR. In that case it might seem a little bit like the UR was being unnecessarily emphasized in a way that was holdinb back the supra-AQAL model. So there are of option when we proceed toward the convergent-divergent model which, as you say, potentially solves for every instance. It is universally distributed upon our experience. Because of this it is traditionally spoken of as half-graspable. What I call Tier 2.5. But it truly beomes possible when its own half-graspability becomes locked down within the model.
This is what all three of the MOA levels are doing. At MOA-2 we have to stand up for the equivalent primacy of the LR. And this has special relevance to human social order. At MOA-3 we have to pack things more intensely and will necessarily start building them into, through and out of each other. And that has multiple possible phraseologies and apparent styles.
The simultaneity of simultaneous & transfer-based energy-information patterns is clearly an area that must be explicated in order to go beyond the limits of current advanced theory in any domain.
Now this phrase seems a little odd:
>And the LR is broken into the UR for biosphere and below and the LL for noosphere and above. 
That is to say the very definition of quadrants is that they are all equally active in both these spheres. However, the terminology of one quadrant might become the terminology of a different quadrant when a stage-shift occurs. For example, fields may appear to be LR at one level and UR at another. In fact these terms are always quite flexible. If we examine the insides of a person we rapidly discover something like "all quadrants" within their interiority. The protocols of the LR are not fixed externals but rather represent the relatively external view of the patterns of action operating in any situation. The utility of quadrants, in this sense, is that they appear wherever we look. They are kaleidescopic. But in order for the map to represent this fact about itself it will require the space made available by a higher-order compression of all its variable. That is what we hope for. And yet it has not special consequences concerning nature of the LR in particular.
When a "limited infinity" of solutions to a 2D fractal is solved by one solution for a 3D fractal we are, of course, still dealing in the same quadrant. No fundamentaly shift in type of perspectives has occured. However there is the emergence of an apparently pre-existing structure of convergence-divergence that operates in accordance with an additional, ostensibly orthogonal, variable. If we apply this form of thinking to the LR we can observe that many aspects of our enactment protocols may be summarized/rooted in a more condensed pattern which represents another level of the LR. We could equally apply it to the whole quadrant map and supposed that a more compressed pattern at a higher level includes all four quadrants. Either way we do not modify the nature and arrangement of the quadrants but only indicate the type of geometric (sic) which connects between levels. This is critical, however, because it shows us the ladder to any MOA-3.
All is not necessarily mind.

Ideology is usually used to mean "belief systems". But Marx, etc. used it in a slightly more cryptic sense of false consciousness. This was largely the idea that the beliefs we believe that we believe may actually indicate our socioeconomic status and technological circumstances. People may not personally value the values they espouse because they are alienated from their own values. This is such a fascinating idea that it behooves us to drive forward toward a version of this concept which jives with developmental psychology. In thinking about the conformist spirit which sometimes masquerades as "green" or "teal" etc. we get a possible notion of how this could proceed. What do you think?

A few more:
1. Is it legitimate to call an aphophatic statement an ontic assertion. To assert "Truth is Unspeakable" is, although phrased negatively, essentially the same gesture as "I like pickles!"
2. It is legit to associate ontic assertions, even about Spirit, with a "first tier" style of communication.
3. Does aphophatic communication, in your view, relate particularly to the indefinite structural transparencies that comprise the "causal realm" (say, in contradistinction to the "blended" terminology that arises to describe mind-emotion-sensation harmonies or the common feature implied in Nagarjuna's neither/nor categories)?
4. Where does "etiquette" exist in an integral semiotic map? And what do you see as some orienting principles which could help make integral community discourse operate at a level analogous to integral cogntion in individuals?
5. From an integral (or higher) POV are all forms of communication injunctive? Would a Giga Glossary be not only a crucial advance for civilization but also a fairly clear statement that enactment is the root of all the styles of signification?
6. Given that there are patterns of languaging more appropriate to Causal and Nondual phenomenon, and given that language is a kind of minimal technology, does the ability to clarify more apt communication styles provide us with a first step toward technologizing these realms?
7. What is the significance of superlative terminology? It seems to resemble ontic assertion, metaphor and negative (in the sense that it outdoes normal qualifications) while also raising them to the level of an implied contemplative injunction.
8. Would you consider that a statement of tautological intensity, like Descarte's cogito, or a mathematical proof, operates injunctively insofar as it enacts a moment of the contemplation of the mutual equivalance of forms which do not lose their separate forms in the process? Is "=" a kind of minimal point-out-instruction or invocation of suchness?

hide sometimes in a forest a million miles away, a galaxy, a universe
It takes a whole universe to raise a child..... to raise a child from mud to look with clarity out through clear lenses and eyes so perfect that you could stare deeply into them for all of eternity and you know, however selfish that might be to you way of thinking, she is always there looking back.....from right there to way far away.... it is always her.... and she will teach you some nice moves... but don't ever think you will out do your father, regardless of what a nerktwerker he is.  He is your father after all, mr. McGoo maybe, but he is always right... get used to it, girls... babets.... etc.
love from all of us to Ken as he lay dying on his bed.  the phone rings he picks it up, if it is Treya he wlll die, if it not treya his whole academic...there is no choice ever.... an O+F



I forgot about the arrangement, or was that forgivable?

My question for Ken: The relevence of Michel Foucault's notion of spirituality is palpable in your latest work on Integral Semiotics. Could you take a moment to discuss the importance of Foucault's notion for understanding why we need to follow injunctions and procedures in order to directly experience a signified?

Anyone read Adi Da's  : "Basket of Tolerance"  & 7 Stages of Life ?

Hi, Ken. Thank you for your wonderful work.
I have three questions.
1) In the final paragraph of page one, you assign "the actual referents of linguistic signs, referents which exist only as disclosed in particular worldviews or worldspaces" to the lower-left quadrant.
I don't understand why you put referents in the lower-left quadrant because referents, as I understand them, are not entirely interior. Is this just how you simplify it to fit everything into a one-dimensional quadrant model?
On page two, you speak about "a simplified version of the K.A." as "Who x How x What." My question (related to the above question) is, why don't you have: Subject Quadrant x Sign Quadrant x Referent Quadrant? (Maybe the latter two are more accurately called quadrivia.) Or is this what you mean, in part, by Who x How x What?
I'll use the Fido scenario (mixed together with the John Doe scenario on pages 264-6 of Integral Spirituality) to illustrate what I mean.

Subject - Ken Wilber:  UL (Q/3, L/11); UR (t/male); LL (cultural type: American, ILP, etc.); LR (role in the economic system: writer/speaker/pandit).
Sign - Fido:  UR (material marks); UL (interior apprehensions); LR (structural system or syntax); LL (cultural hermeneutics and semantics).


Referent - Fido:   UR: (breed,  sex/male); UL (Fido's emotions, cognition, etc.); LL (that part of the family culture that Fido partakes in, the culture of the neighborhood dogs, etc.); LR (Fido's role in the economic system: companion, guard dog, newspaper fetcher).

2) On page two of Excerpt B you seem to speak of an integral worldspace as a "new territory or domain" (the view of the quadrants or zones). Do you ever map out this new domain as Q/5 or something? How would you kosmic address a multi-quadrant simultracking exercise?

3) In the Kosmos Trilogy Excerpts and Integral Spirituality, you made some criticisms about Aurobindo that I've found very interesting to look into. It seems as though you have lumped Aurobindo in with the great-chain theorists. Is this an accurate interpretation? It seems to me that, while his work certainly wasn't as postmetaphysical, integral, and differentiated as yours, it was still quite different than that of the great-chain theorists. I believe I can show, for example, that he had a basic understanding of postmodern insights (such as the generative power of culture, language, and environment) and that he arguably didn't believe in already formed fixed stages.
Are you going to publish those criticisms about Aurobindo in the excerpts in your new book? If so, could you please post that part of it here as you have with these other excerpts, so I can show how Aurobindo had some understanding of these issues? I feel it is in the interest of AQAL to give him as much credit as possible since the third-tier stages are correlated with Aurobindo's higher stages. (But if you are going to publish those criticisms and decide to post them here ahead of time, please do so after August because I will be offline in August.)
Thank you again, Ken,

Here is one of my questions for Ken:
In Integral Spirituality, the KA of i (square root of -1) is located at the orange altitude. Differential and integral calculus is located at turquoise. Where would you place things like real analysis, complex analysis and abstract algebra? How do you determine when a given field of mathematics (relative to another) requires a vertical level boost in taking perspectives, vs more of a horizontal refinement of knowledge? I was able to learn up through calculus and differential equations (some 20+ years ago) while enjoying the process, but things like real analysis and beyond were exceedingly difficult for me and I rapidly lost interest. Today my cognitive line is much better developed, but advanced math seems only marginally less abtuse. One thing I don't do (as much :-) ) is blame mathematicians for making their subject unnecessarily complicated. I'm able to appreciate that there really are complexities that are expressed effectively with their style of language, and accept that I don't have at present the capacity to fully appreciate those complexities.
Could a GigaGloss help people better appreciate what might be within ready reach of their understanding (even suggesting specific pathways to cultivate that development in the near term), versus stuff that's just leaps and bounds over their head and would take a lot longer to develop?

I think I've found at least a partial answer to my question. The cross-paradigmatic stage described by Commons and Richards maps well to turquoise. This excerpt describes how the creation of Calculus required a cross-paradigmatic mindset:
Copernicus (1543/1992) co-ordinated geometry of ellipses that represented the geometric paradigm and the sun-centered perspectives. This co-ordination formed the new field of celestial mechanics. The creation of this field transformed society--a scientific revolution that spread throughout world and totally altered our understanding of people's place in the cosmos. It directly led to what many would now call true empirical science with its mathematical exposition. This in turn paved the way for Isaac Newton (1687/1999) to co-ordinate mathematics and physics forming the new field of classic mathematical physics. The field was formed out of the new mathematical paradigm of the calculus (independent of Leibniz, 1768, 1875) and the paradigm of physics, which consisted of disjointed physical laws.
But there still seems something off to me about defining concepts like Calculus in the Giga Glossary at turquoise. What aspect of Newtonian Calculus today requires a turquoise level of development to appreciate/understand? It seems that, once developed, certain concepts (like Calculus) can be understood and applied at earlier levels of development without much appreciable dropoff in effectiveness, whereas other cross-paradigmatic concepts do need to be wielded at turquoise in order to to be effective.
I'd be interested in any response to this.

How does semiotics play a role in our conscious evolution when it comes to the Semantic Web?
While semantics has become the primary focus of the social Web, one of the greatest challenges of the Internet's open-architecture is the inability to understand meaning as it relates to different people or different contexts.  Google, among other Information Technology companies, has spent millions, if not billions, trying to figure out the probable meaning of words.  For instance, does the word "Hot Dog" mean the junk food, or a canine with an elevated blood pressure?  Likewise, "Jaguars" could mean jungle cats, luxury vehicles, or the NFL sports team.  What about a "like" to an article against gun control, is the person for, or against it?
The potentials for semantics to radically enhance advertising, publishing, education, user-experience, community understanding and social integration have made semantics the number one commodity of information systems.  The problem is, how do we understand "meaning" through an information system when it comes to so many different people with so many different perspectives?  And what kinds of roles will this play in our future as the Web continues to integrate with our social lives?
The problem with information and social network technology on the Internet is, the Web is an open-system, and without a standard in place for identifying people's interests, without threatening their privacy, it can be a very unfriendly place.
For example, when you "like" something on facebook there is anywhere from 1 to 100 keywords that are recognized.  So if you like an article that is for gun control, words like "Guns" "NRA" "Crime" "Mass Shootings" etc. are likely going to be associated to the back-end of your account, which if you did not know already, is probably linked to other agencies and interest groups.  I can also assure you that there are probably a few big data "mines" funded by advertisers, or other groups, that can crawl this site to associate terms with all the entities involved.  Obviously, this is not a very ethical or effective process, and it is the reason why there is an accelerating issue with transparency and privacy.
Besides the various cookies that follow your regular Web activity; likes, recommend's, timelines, hashtags, thumbs-up/thumbs-down, various ratings and feedback technologies are all trying to fulfill a single goal...understand the user.
The bottom line is, the benefits of social networking come at a price to your personal privacy.  Regardless of this issue, the omnipotent goal of the Web is to understand who people really are and what they really seek in order to provide the right information to the right people at the right time.  Nobody is controlling this, it is happening naturally.
By solving the riddle of semantics we are solving the problems of privacy, intrusive advertising, misinformation, fraud, maliciousness, etc. etc. etc.  Not to mention, semantic information technology would also lead to Artificial Intelligence (which they haven't figured out yet,) user centric operating systems (which Apple would die for and Microsoft would ruin,) plus, a complete integration between education, business, science, and technology.  Additionally, an online social environment, which is ubiquitously semantic, would ensure credibility and accountability to the various online communities that have now saturated every social system.
When it comes to our own conscious evolution, the Web's ability to understand semantics could possibly result in a self-organizing social condition that would naturally integrate values and needs throughout society.
I've studied this subject for over a decade, and in my opinion, it comes down to an Integral perspective of how the information system can understand the subjective nature of the individual.
Sincerely, Brian

Here's what my pet ferret wants to know:
1. What is the difference between the sense of significance that arises between the signifier and signified (and semantics/syntax) AND the signified which is the "sense of significance"?
2. Does the 'square root of negative one' actually have thing-ness or is it simply short-hand for a functional procedure carried out in the syntax? There is obviously a syntactical process in connection with all entities but should we make a distinction between experiential objects and the experience of "place holders" for processes?
3. How does the shadow play into semiotics? Psychological repression and the ideological idea of "false consciousness" are both ways of indicating "unknown knowns" or signified which do not present themselves in the worldspace where they ought to appear. Can egotism protect itself by misinterpreting its own signifieds in a way that links them to alternative signifieds?
4. Even though the relationship between signifiers and signifieds is roughly arbitrary, the experience of analysands, artists & poets is that there are temporarily "perfect" links to be made between our signifieds and certain signifiers. How does integral semiotics account for the variation in appropriateness (or virtue) in the syntactical joining of signifiers and signifieds?

Good questions Layman. Ken briefly addresses #3 in a footnote on page 263 of Integral Spirituality:
I think this presents a nontrivial challenge for developing an actual Giga Glossary (the concept of a Giga Glossary, as a thought experiment, is still valuable in any case for helping people understand the limits of language). If it's written for and by humans who have shadow content, there will inevitably be disagreement over KAs. One person's externally evident subtle energy is another person's illusory projection. Without any observer-independent ways to agree on the validity of something that one can't conceive/perceive, it seems like a daunting task.
At least in the sensorimotor world, we have points of contact. For example, if we were to ever meet something that claimed to be a 4-dimensional hypersphere, we'd be able to see it as a 3-dimensional sphere that increases and decreases in size as it crosses our plane of existence. It could poke us inside our stomach in real-time and do a host of demonstrable things that 3D entities cannot. That's enough to extend at least some level of circumscribed credibility to its statement, until such time as we can develop our own 4D capabilities and see for ourselves.
Whereas with the GigaGloss, if someone claims to define a phenomenon that can only be experienced at overmind, and we haven't developed to that level, how can we know whether that person is correct or not? What if two people who claim to have developed to overmind have contradictory observations? How do those disputes get arbitrated?

the mosquito answers...
1.       What is the difference between the sense of significance that arises between the signifier and signified (and semantics/syntax) AND the signified which is the "sense of significance"?
The way I experience this is that we are given or choose a particular context and from that context we feel our way into it.  Commentary regarding that context is both historical and creative, it is not enough to convey its history but we must transcend and include into a new aspect.  It may in fact bare qualities and descriptors previously spoken of but our speech has no previous originator.   The sense of significance is the totality of its meaning originating within our self.
2.       Does the 'square root of negative one' actually have thing-ness or is it simply short-hand for a functional procedure carried out in the syntax? There is obviously a syntactical process in connection with all entities but should we make a distinction between experiential objects and the experience of "place holders" for processes?
It appears to me that thingness is anything that can be pointed to and agreed upon, regardless of experiential objects or place holders.  What is the difference anyway, just because we cannot see the “thing” with our eyes, it does not mean the “thing” does not exist.   But what does it mean to exist?  In my view existence proves itself worthy according to an expression, baring qualities that cannot be disputed or discounted.  The “thing” proves itself and must be counted in existence with ramifications.
 Seeing is reconciled at higher altitudes, we see the vision of the thing as it is expressed in the context of our language.  We create “things” utilizing other descriptor or place holder things.  THE VERY FACT THAT WE CAN UTILIZE LOWER “THINGS” INDICATE VISION, but our larger view is on the thing we are creating.
Thingness is merely an aid and an essential descriptor for building a larger thingness, creating something with consequence.
3.       How does the shadow play into semiotics? Psychological repression and the ideological idea of "false consciousness" are both ways of indicating "unknown knowns" or signified which do not present themselves in the worldspace where they ought to appear. Can egotism protect itself by misinterpreting its own signifieds in a way that links them to alternative signifieds?
This is a great question but almost becoming ironic.  All that I have described is a creative process according to an individual, that individual is responsible for bringing to light that which comes from darkness.  What she will grasp as placeholders and landmarks to navigate her way to an illuminated expression will be based upon a socially-conceived and culturally-recognized group of things.  What she hopes to do though is to create NEW socially-conceived and culturally-recognized things.  New Placeholders and new landmarks that must prove sturdy and can be visioned by her group or culture.  That is the process, because what she creates is meant to continue that vision.
4.       Even though the relationship between signifiers and signifieds is roughly arbitrary, the experience of analysands, artists & poets is that there are temporarily "perfect" links to be made between our signifieds and certain signifiers. How does integral semiotics account for the variation in appropriateness (or virtue) in the syntactical joining of signifiers and signifieds?
Virtue is a quality that is received and transmitted by osmosis or some non-logical manner.  Take KW for example; if I read something of his writing to a family member they will roll their eyes and say…you’ve got to be kidding me?   But before I could even imagine Integral Theory his virtue was clear to me (maybe a few exceptions –smile).
We would have a difficult time articulating a definitive expression for virtue; in fact some of what Integral defines as virtuous is not reconciled in me.  But for me virtue is attained with a larger dome around IL.   Within that larger scope I see virtue, the lower elements that do not translate is personal, so I accept my personal translation.  The higher qualities account for the diversity, so arbitrary is the

I am still unable to fully understand how these different worldspaces fit in with the objective world, in a way that rejects the notion that "referents exist out there in a single pregiven world, ready for any and all to stumble on". I understand that the subject has to develop a certain level of cognition before it can understand certain referents, but I don't see how that challenges the view that they exist in a single pregiven world.
For example, you can say that understanding E=mc2 requires a development to at least orange before you can understand it. Of course. But I don't see how that stops there being a single objective truth in a single pregiven world. Because you have to account for how that law held before clever humans understood it. Is there a pre-existing logos that already contains the physical laws? If so, how does this fit in with the denial of eternally existing ontological structures? Is this problem resolved by pan-interiority?

Right. Did the Sun go around the Earth prior to the Copernican revolution? I love that question.
Also, I love thinking about the idea of hooking up  a bunch of materialists to brain scanners in a circle so they're all watching each other's brain scans as they look at each other's brain scans.

Okay. How about these cheerfully inspid inquiries:
1. Does the Nondual God have a Kosmic Address? Or -- if we say that it does not appear on the map -- what is the address of the implied referent of the statement that it does not appear on the map?
This is similar to asking the location of what the Causal God and the causal is-ness of all other things have in common. Or perhaps: What is the appropriate grammar of the signified which is referred to when we say that all signifieds, including the Casual God, share "a transcendental something"?
2. Does the signified also have four quadrants?
Integral semiotics reverses the colloquial sense of the relationship between Signifier and Signified. Most people might assume that the signified is the "outer object" while our "label" is an internal phenomenon. Insofar as our approach places the "experience" within the UL quadrant... is that experience a four-quadrant affair? My experience of a god or a dog seems to have its own quadrants... am I referring to all of them as the "signified" to which a material signifier refers?
3. If a supercomputer were programmed to hold a map of all known signifieds, correlated to all known signifiers, semantic approaches & syntactical patterns... but presumably did not have the subjective development to sustain such a worldspace... how should we refer to the manner in which it holds and organizes its data?
These are obtuse, I know, but it is vaguely possible they might produce some good material...

1.       If a supercomputer were programmed to hold a map of all known signifieds, correlated to all known signifiers, semantic approaches & syntactical patterns... but presumably did not have the subjective development to sustain such a worldspace... how should we refer to the manner in which it holds and organizes its data?
Fucking brilliant question…excuse my language but it blows my mind!  It would be comparative to an index that might be considered corrupt.  Dropping links and misdirecting data.  But one thing is clear in that the supercomputer is built on these very flaws and is indexed according to data that it knows but has yet to properly classify it.  So it would seem to me that although the data may be stored incorrectly the system operates as a whole and is organized according to its optimal use.  If this were not true…it would not operate at all.  So, regardless of the size of its subjective development it could indeed output data that simply falls into a broad category without relevancy links and refinements.
Wait a minute…
The subject formulates 1’s and 0’s into data that is recognizable ---packets of articulation organized according to its own subjectivity.    So what would it do with 1’s and 0’s that are not identified with its encoding data (the subjectivity is too small)?  Its subjectivity would rely on an extended feeling nature of something that surrounds the data bits.  Contextualization could be referred to as this process.

1.       Does the Nondual God have a Kosmic Address? Or -- if we say that it does not appear on the map -- what is the address of the implied referent of the statement that it does not appear on the map?
Yes, if I understand your question the Kosmic Address would refer to everything/everyone that arises.  Any Relative signified/signifier must have an address but the Nondual God has no exclusive identity as its own structure.  I wonder if we might still call this a structure.  Its organization is a referent to each physical element but accesses these elements according to patterns and movements.  Exclusivity simply cannot happen and yet a structure must still be present in that –the Relative will manifests at all.
As I question; “the Relative will manifest at all” I realize that it implies a Relative Being aware of its own relativity while at the same time aware of that which makes it Relative.  But being aware of its own Relativity creates a new structure where Relativity is only known as a dynamic or process.
2.       Does the signified also have four quadrants?
Yes and No.  The signified and the signifier share boundaries in an absolute sense while at the same time a Relative sense is known in retrospect.  “Now” can be experiencing its own 4 quadrants but reflection remains nonexclusive…giving the same qualities to all it knows.   
Btw…I am only guessing on this configuration because there is no Absolute configuration (that I can tell) there is only an Absolute understanding that certain principles apply.   What bothers me the most is stating that “The Relative will not manifest at all” if a structure does not exist.  But this structure is only known according to what it can know, but that does not mean that it cannot carry the patterning and dynamic which translates as all that is Relative.

If you have any questions about Integral Semiotics, post them here in the comments. Once we are finished publishing all three pieces, we will select some of the best questions for Ken to answer in a future update!
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