Is there actually a internal/external, subjective/objective?


#1

So I’m probably going to highly misrepresent Ken in some of this, but its the limited I understand at this point from what I’ve read of Integral Spirituality.

What I derived from AQAL years ago, is there is a subjective human/conscious experience “I” and a objective/external phenomenon “It”. Now this made a lot of sense before I had what I would call a spiritual awakening. But, since this point and a lot of revelations that happened after, I really don’t know if I understand what he’s talking about.

Sticking with the terminology in this question (I dont generally use it anymore) what is a “It” without the “I” interpreting/so called subjectivity? Isn’t the I and IT inseparable within the logic of this theory (again I don’t hold it true to begin with)? For the most part from what I’ve gathered and observed at one point in my life, isn’t a “I” (consciousness, 6 senses, body, nervous system, and what ever you want to attribute to what creates experiencing) responsible for the so called “objective”. Like what is cold/hot without the “I”, what is a up or a down without the “I”. What is the in or out of ones “self” without the sense of an I in relation to the phenomenon (I may of jumped out of what aqal is talking about with this last one)?

Edit: Expanding on the above paragraph. I believe “objectivity” is an idea that is generally accepted by humans to mean as “seeing something as it is”, from the “outside” of it. The humans/system’s “subjectivity” in this case determines from its standpoint what it calls a “outside observed” phenomenon. This “Objectivity” is not something inherent floating out “there” but is a point of reference in relation to a so called “something else” (in this case the so called humans subjectivity). Also this “subjectivity” believes itself to be many sorts of things and has a variety of ways of labeling and ways of interpreting.

What ever is “seen” as “objective” takes place within subjectivity, so one could argue that nothing is ever really “seen”, but a filtration of subjectivity (and yes many different life forms would have a potential infinite types of subjectivity revealing a facet/aspect of experience or what humans generally call objectivity). Ie, a bats objectivity theoretically of something is a world of sonar, and a octopus a combination of colors and tactileness.

One could then postulate that there is possible error/bias in the nature of subjectivity, which would then leave perhaps a inherent “not knowning” or “unknown” to the nature of reality/experience/objectivity that is often taken for granted as a human or perhaps any life form?

Edit expansion:

A little more about what this awakening has revealed is that there just “is” and this “is” falls within human terminologies as Infinity, God, Self, Emptiness, and many more. All models, all explanations are just this “is”. All subjectivity, all perspectives, all possibilities, all laws, all duality, are just this “is”.

So is kens intent with AQAL a particular explanation of how consciousness is from the perspective of an I/ego, along with how it develops? Or is it trying to explain “reality” itself? Or a combination?


#2

I’ve had a lot of the same questions.
Is all one?
Or, is it true that there are four quadrants? That I am separate.
I think the four quadrants could be called “aspects”. They are “aspects” of The One, or “facets”, like the faces of a gem. From each aspect the gem shows seemingly different qualities.
But how could there “be” anything, any light or dark, any differences?
This questions KILLS me, but my friend said to me in response, “Well, why not?” and it seemed to quell it, at least for now.

“So is AQAL a particular explanation of how consciousness is from the perspective of an I/ego, along with how it develops? Or is it trying to explain “reality” itself?”

I think that quadrants are a lens for looking at “reality” from those four facets, and that “how consciousness is from the perspective of ego”, is the stage. How consciousness is, could be a robot, and a robot could be at a stage. Now, does a robot have an ego? I think ego is a word that could be set aside for later understanding. Because ego is really just a self construct, an unconscious self construct, and at some point, a conscious self construct, or even an artificial self construct. depending on the complexity of that construct, even the “enlightened self” places it somewhere on the rungs of the stages. As far as ultimate reality goes, a book cannot tell you what that is. So I think your confusion is between ultimate and relative reality, and, truth claims and mental models.
I don’t think he is making truth claims, and I don’t think he is speaking to ultimate reality, but rather building mental models that help find truth claims, and hopefully ultimate truth.


#3

When we have one of those “Satori” or “awakening” state experiences, we do recognise arising phenomenon to be subjective… however, as our our ego tries to understand that experience, using logic to turn the memory into a belief system, we run the easy risk, depending on our stage of development of interpreting that from a solipsistic standpoint (“everyone is me, I’m god & I’m all that matters”) …which lies at the heart of what many call “new age narcissim”.

The quadrants as a model, are to be recognised as a mental map or framework for paying attention to different aspects of the arising phenomenon within your subjective experience & yes, it’s easy to become confused when we say that phenomenon is subjective but then start delineating aspects of singular subjective awareness into a variety of mental models that also recognises objectivity etc. To understand this is to cut to the core of the epistemology/ ontology debate.

Epistemology (the study of the nature & origin of thought) looks at our interpretation of arising phenomenon (phenomenon being the central focus of ontology - the study of the nature & origin of being) & recognises that we can make meanings to interpret things. Now we can interpret anything with mental images & words subjectively, however, any arising phenomenon in our experience that is interpreted by our assignment of meaning has an objective quality that that interpretation signifies. If we remove our subjective labels & meaning, we see that the object we’re observing arises regardless of of the meaning or label we assign. This is our objectivity.

Without including these labels & meaning-interpretations, we cannot communicate or differentiate between arising phenomenon & become somewhat regressive (albeit the conscious state may be temporarily blissful). The AQAL map is an extraordinarily comprehensive map with which to label, imagine & communicate potential phenomenon that may arise in your experience… It is not necessarily from the perspective of an ego because the map can be viewed & the phenomenon can be labelled, their meanings can be constructed & deconstructed from a persective free of ego… or with ego… or both in the moment. Ego itself is a construct of meaning & the meaning is the story you assign to a symbol - whatever you identify with. When I write the word “table” & you understand what that means, I have evoked a series of images/ sounds/ etc via the meaning you have assigned to the symbol just by writing that down. Now when we use the quadrants as a map to help you identify some arising territory… consider the quote “the map is not the territory”. In this sense, yes, every aspect of the quadrants are arising within your subjective experience simultaneously. EDIT: …or better still, every aspect of your arising experience can be interpreted more comprehensively to greater levels of complexity & accuracy by considering all quadrants when interpreting that experience using the AQAL map as a point of reference.

I hope this clears things up a bit… might’ve been too contrived, if so, forgive me, I’m drunk. Perhaps search for the E-book “Integral Semiotics” which may be available on this site. Goodnight xx


#4

Hi Kensho,

Thanks for the response. After rereading a little bit of the material again (its been a number of years) and seeing some of the responses, it seems pretty clear that the domain of aqal is as you say “aspects/facets/angles” of the development of human consciousness (and perhaps some carry over to the nature of consciousness in any form).

I also like your friends response that quelled your mind “well, why not”. For me the answer that I sit in now is that there is no difference in differences, they are just in appearance on one level, and there is nothing that is not god. The so called human experience, the so called experience of duality and distance, the feelings, beliefs and conviction of a so called somebody.


#5

H Binary,

Awesome summary of a lot of content into easily digestible morsels.

I think the point I was trying to make in my original post was from a confusion or point of contention I had years ago that no longer means what it use to, but is perhaps interesting none the less. I believe “objectivity” is an idea that is generally accepted by humans to mean as “seeing something as it is”, from the “outside” of it.The humans/system’s “subjectivity” in this case determines from its standpoint what it calls a “outside observed” phenomenon. This “Objectivity” is not something inherent floating out “there” but is a point of reference in relation to a so called “something else” (in this case the so called humans subjectivity). Also this “subjectivity” believes itself to be many sorts of things,and as you’ve said has a variety of ways of labeling and ways of interpreting. Years ago this freaked me out because it dawned on me that I couldn’t actually see objectively and if I believed I was, it was only determined by me that this was the case, it wasn’t backed up by “objective” proof (again because as I saw it, all objectivity was subjective human interpretation of something, not the the actual “thing” itself).

Edit: This lead to a big freakout and a lot of distrust of self (although I think a lot of this was already hidden within). Years went on like this leading to disinterest in knowledge and trying to understand something, because as I saw it all knowledge/models/science/news was just temporary or limited by subjectivity and human error/number fudging/dishonesty. But I eventually went into a deep place of surrender and not knowing after examining the idea that there is such a thing as control or doing (Lisa Cairns, Paul Hedderman and Alan Watts, were all helpful in this). With this, the idea of being a someone that was in control became very very evident, an idea that the only proof was that it “felt” true and I slowly started to let that go, and with it came a profound freedom and forgiveness of self and others, which ebbed and flowed in its depth and remains.


#6

Yes, but only in the relative realm of consciousness - samsara, our everyday world where objects seem to be outside of our bodies and minds. The AQAL system is a map of relative reality as we are enacting it moment to moment. You can also call it an operating system that governs our lives without our being aware of it, rather like the rules of grammar or logic: mostly followed by everyone but almost no one can tell you what the rules are. AQAL also points to the absolute realm of Waking Up - direct experience of Unity Consciousness or the Supreme Identity. I say points to because the map can’t tell you where to find the Absolute; it can only offer you an injunction, such as, "If you want to experience Ultimate Reality, take up a spiritual practice like zazen or centering prayer. On the absolute level, the binaries internal/external, subjective/objective, samsara/nirvana are NOT TWO. Or so I’m told.


#7

The heart of the matter of where my question came from has to do with the idea of “relative” and the realization and understanding of Not Two (as you referred to as absolute). They are not two and thus the question about a models intent (i really should read myself again at this point, lol :slight_smile: )