Some ideas that I have been gnawing on recently:
What makes something “fundamental”?
Let me explain why I am asking this question.
Wilber’s model rests on the idea that quadrants are “fundamental perspectives”. The idea actually came from many sources, and keeps showing up.
Yet, there can be so many good culprits. Are the fundamental principals and perspectives simply that which we BELIEVE are fundamental (ie purely subjective focal points)? Or is there something objective about them that gives them a “fundamental quality”?
In trying to answer this question I am merged into another which I have been gnawing on simultaneously, and have used integral theory, to help answer. What gives something “value”? I started asking this question to see if BITCOIN is actually a viable investment, (warning, I am a bit bearish on bitcoin for the long run). What I’ve discovered about bitcoin is that it gets its value from the subjective quadrant only, where something like gold gets value in objective quadrants AND subjective ones. What is really going on with bitcoin is that it is actually a piece of code (duplicatable), and a community, so when one invests in bitcoin, they are really investing in the likihood of a community growing. One could perhaps make the claim that its physical quadrants are the million’s of video cards working to make it encrypted, therefore giving it the “objective quality” of secure. This is a viable argument, getting its value from the dominance of the worlds share of video cards (the devices used to “mine” crypto) depicted with bitcoins primary question, “Can YOU get more computers working together to make a more secure protocol?”.
Gold is subject to the same subjective whims, but it also has a clear objective nature, being an element that has unique electrical properties… as is lithium or silver or copper, etc.
So, how where does one store their work? In dollars? in a prospecting company? in Bitcoin? Gold? And why?
So, understanding these ponderings leads me back to Wilber’s claims, that quadrants are fundamental. I belive that to be a subjective claim, with objective credibility. I mean you could say that “color” was a fundamental perspective, couldn’t you? But color doesn’t seem to be as objectively USEFUL as quadrants.
So to sum it up, Wilber has given us a handful of gems (quadrants, states, levels, stages, lines, types)…
And it’s up to us to determine if indeed these gems are valuable.
How does one order their thought? With religion? with Wilber’s fundamental gems? With nothing at all?
And so were off to the races. Which will prevail? What will be their qualities? Which will bear fruit? Which won’t? Which will dominate in the short run? Which will survive the eons? Etc.
Some ideas that I have been gnawing on recently:
Your question can get us into a lot of different areas here. At the risk of becoming infinitely recursive, we can use the four quadrants to look at “fundamental”. If it’s quadrants all the way down and quadrants all the way up, then we simply have a choice as to what, where, who, why, when and so on in respect of “fundamental”. That choice can be arbitrary and we go on a voyage of discovery or we can say “we fix fundamental here”. So, give us a context and by so giving us a context you will have answered your question already.
IMHO when Ken talks of the quadrants being fundamental he is saying all perspectives of all the realities available to being perceived by us can be accounted for by these four quadrants, any less we miss something, any more are simply a re-stating of one of the four fundamental quadrants.
Not sure whether this is exactly on point but anyway…As to where money gets its value from and how capitalism works if money has no objective value try reading The End of Alchemy by Mervyn King.
My understanding is that money has no intrinsic value but if we all agree to treat it as if it had an intrinsic value, then it takes on particular kind of existence which we can then use to do various things. Basically where we move from barter to a financial system. So, the piece of metal (a dollar coin) has an intrinsic value which is what someone (e.g. a blacksmith) will agree to give you for it and it has a second value which is what society (central banks, foreign exchanges) deems it to be worth. What then becomes interesting is how money is transcended and included in the various financial instruments that are created by the various financial institutions. So if everybody just concluded that bitcoin has no worth, it would become worthless as it has no physical correlate. Whereas if everybody agree gold has no worth it has a physical correlate which would retain some value that could not go away just because people say it has no value.
Wilber never claimed that his system is anymore than a map. So no aspect of it is “fundamental” in the usual sense of that word. The quadrants may be fundamental to Integral Meta-Theory, but the universe would go on without them. And he would jettison them in heartbeat if he found a better model (or so I would like to think).
I think your question at its root is always something I’ve been getting at in all my posts here and is a very interesting one to look deeply into (if your interested in knowing they self).
I can’t give you the answer to a question of fundamental, but maybe i can ask you some questions that will help you answer what you want.
For starters, what is a question? Doesn’t a question require two parties to be on a similar wave length for anything to be able to be derived from it? I think Ken refers to something like I’m saying with saying something like a word is a label linked to a referent. However if we are really really honest, we don’t know “what is absolutely” and there for have no idea if our “word” has a referent to even be attached to… You may say chair, but chair may not even exists, or if you accept it does, from what angle and perspective are you seeing and asking the question from. We generally are in my opinion using words+questions that make sense within our given set of abilities to sense and perceive at the given point in Now, but don’t have absolute answers. This is a mind fuck more likely then not…so back to your question.
What is a fundamental? Well depends who answers. What is a “fundamental” objectively? Well, what is a fundamental? I don’t know if you see the dance here, but its a doozy…Maybe your mind wants to say a “fundamental” is something concrete, or that is prime, solid, objectively true, a starting property always true, that is “There”…
I’m kinda rushing this answer, when I should probably go more into detail, but lets see what you make out of this and go from there…
Also, for bonus points… Have you objectively verified that there is subjective and objective? If so how did you conclude this?
Yeah I DO see what you are saying mu.
And to answer your bonus question, there is no way to really know whether I actually have been able to perceive true subjectivity, vs true objectivity. The problem is that they are one. Hence the Heisenberg principle, that the scientist cannot be separated from the experiment, (quantum theory, the double slit experiment) as well as the zen coan, “If a tree falls in the woods and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?”
It seems that Ken has identified paradox as subject object, and identity / unity. It’s truly a mindfuck. But, and I can’t think of any right now, aren’t there an infinite number of paradoxes just like these? When I really think about these issues my mind just goes blank, as if it doesn’t know anything, as if it can’t know anything. And perhaps that is the root problem. Nothing is truly knowable, and yet we are here, seemingly knowing, and so the seeming knowing will be arranged some how. Perhaps these choices of quadrants are simply cultural. Would an alien species pick the same ones? One paradox that I can think of is predation and herd. Which could perhaps be what Ken has also identified as agency and communion, which in a way is similar to individuality and collectivity.
It seems to me that logically, there would be an infinite number of paradox, and so then the only reason one would pick one over another, would be simply value. And that value is both subject and object. In other words, Ken’s model can evolve and shift and change, and so if that is true, then where is the objective truth in it. I am sure that Ken’s model is incredibly powerful, and will shape philosophy for probably the next 200 years, until we go beyond it, but in the meantime, since there is value in it, and there some of that value must be subject, what are the parts that make it OBJECTIVELY true. How could you write an experiment to find objective truth in these markers (subject object, individual collective)? Could you say… scan all words ever written and then find which key concepts used in that language are used more than any other? Perhaps subject and object will be “fundamental” in their usage, thereby demonstrating their importance.
Or perhaps there is some mathematical formula (heisenberg principle) that shows these ideas are fundamental.
How do I KNOW that these ideas are good for me?
I’m actually pointing something to a little more subtle then true subjectivity or objectivity, I’m eluding to if these are even “there”. I know it may sound a little crazy, but the thing you or I or collective call inner/subjective, outer/objective is not as it seems… and aren’t even correct referents to “actual”. Its like being in a room that is empty and asking what color is the chair in the corner and how big is it… Its not even in line with “there”.
Oh paradoxes yeah, what a bountiful amount of those there are…Is there an in without an out? Are there outs and ins? Are they only perceptual, or they actual, what is an actual? Is actual the sum accumulation of all perspectives of a so called “something” or is each perspective the actual, and all are correct? Or are there actual “somethings” that just need perceivers to see them in the infinite shades they can be seen…
Is all One, and if so, then are there perspectives to begin with, or just the happening of a Oneness, and can that actual be a perspective or just the living embodied belief of being separate that has a perspective…but is just and always has been the One…
What do you mean by know what idea’s are good for you? What do you want? Is that not good enough? Because again, “good” is just another word that means a lot of different things to who ever is asked, no? Or is there a floating “good” out there given its value by something that gives all values… Although there probably is a more common acceptance of “good” among humans if you asked them all, and that would perhaps be close to an experiment that your hoping to achieve to find “objective/fundamental”, but again it doesn’t make it INHERENTLY so, just at that moment you asked 8 billion humans a question about what they thought was good. Bonus mind fuck, as you know humans change their mind, or answers depending on time, life experience, emotional stress, trauma, so the amount of “good” answers may change a few minutes- months later, again showing there is no consistence in asking questions in a not pinnable universe or human sphere.
Also, want to preface this, I like Kens contribution and model but again when you ask what parts make it OBJECTIVELY true, isn’t this again in relation to a who’s asked? Or do you mean more consistent with when measured at that particular time, because again this can change at any moment, its not fixed…
Yeah I hear you, I mean I think when you really take a look at concepts they ultimately dissolve. Even seemingly solid ones like the scientific method. If the whole field in which the experiments were taking place were in motion for instance, then all data would be irrelevant. It just so happens to be that constants like gravity and the strong weak nuclear forces stay the same or change so slowly that we cannot perceive the change, and so the data remains pertinent. And then to look at what it ultimately going on, we haven’t a clue, and then we are in some ways talking about relative and absolute truth.
I’m still not really sure whether “good for me” is the question that I am asking. It is part of it. I guess, with bad ideas, the rabbit hole goes only so far, or it leads to death, thereby negating itself. But good ideas, they should last a long time, just like the words of a sage, they have a certain power and remain poignant longer than bad ideas. They also give powers to those that have them, agency. So perhaps truth in a relative sense, is like this, it is Darwin like in the sense that it survives. Truth is that which provides power, or in other words, probabilistic advantage, in its objective form. In its subjective form, it is that which is meaningful. And the combination of these two things, is sort of the same idea as “value” which is what drives one to buy and sell obtain and reject.
Ya all things change, eventually. I get that you really want to genuinely understand “reality” and probably like all of us whats good for us in particular. I imagine we will reach a point where we probably can make better big data decisions that have a more likely chance of helping us live a more fulfilled life, like knowing that from the data, shadow work is going to have a good chance of yielding some positive results in our individual life (Ken seems to think so, and in my experience this seemed to have had positive results, although its a up and down, shifting thing to exactly pinpoint so far).
I like your attempt to frame truth/Truth while trying to keep it in the four quadrants, if it serves you well or you enjoy it, keep with it. For me I’m more at ease with honestly not knowing one way or the other, although one thing is certain, its all God, but even that is a big unknown of sorts which the mind won’t fully be able to grasp. The things like truth/Truth are all just shifting aspects of it and change in relation to which point of view its asked from within It. Its like a simultaneous One/Many that doesn’t really fall into any of those categories objectively, but are just pointers of concepts that we as humans use to roughly grasp Isness.