At least the way I conceive it, the integral map should be truly comprehensive, without being completely totalizing. That is, any and every methodology that we can use to disclose some aspect of reality should be included in the larger map — and if there’s a methodology or a perceivable reality that does not currently fit into the model, then the model should be adjusted accordingly. At the same time, we try to be careful not to totalize – meaning that while the integral model helps us understand how multiple paradigms and methodologies can be “fit together” to reveal a deeper/higher integration, we try not to reduce all of those parts to some imagined whole at the end of the rainbow. It’s less about “one ring to rule them all”, and more about being able to wear the right ring at the right time for the right circumstance.
As for the notion of relativity in general, one of my big insights over the last year or so has been around just how deep that relativity goes. I’ve been playing a lot with the Giga-Glossary app I created in chatGPT, which helps demonstrate that there is no such thing as a “simple object” that exists some some absolute space somewhere, but rather that our perception of an object (or a subject) depends 100% on the perspective that we are enacting it from. A tree is never just a “tree”, but is something else entirely if you approach it from one perspective or another, one level of scale or another, one context or another.
For example, we can look at a tree in 3rd person, from the upper right quadrant, through our cognitive intelligence at the orange stage, focusing on its gross/physical properties.
Or we can look at it in 1st-person, from the lower left quadrant, through the aesthetic intelligence at the magenta altitude, focusing on its subtle/imaginal properties.
In fact, when we add up all of the various combinations of perspective a person can take (4 quadrants, 3 perspectives, 20 or so developmental lines, 8 stages, 5 states/realms) we end up with almost 10,000 views of a given phenomenon!
Which means that not only is a tree not just a “tree”, it is 10,000 things all at once — and that is only accounting for human perception, and says nothing about how, say, a termite might perceive it.
My metaphor here is that this is something like the theory of general relativity in physics, which tells us that the position of an object is 100% relative to the position of every other object. Here, we can see that the position of a subject is 100% relative to the position of every other subject, revealing a vastly complex, beautiful, and numinous reality that we find ourselves in.