I am reading Integral Spirituality but I came across something that I don’t quite understand. In Chapter 7, Ken writes:
“individual holons have 4 quadrants, and the social dimension of those individual holons unfolds in stages correlative with the other quadrants in that individual, but collectives or social holons do not have 4 quadrants”
This part kinda confuses me. Cuz I was under the impression a social holon was just the social dimension of an individual holon. But apparently they’re not the same thing.
I don’t understand why individual holons has 4 quadrants and social holons don’t, nor do I understand the difference between an individual holon’s social dimension and a social holon.
Could someone please explain this to me? Ideally with an example so it’s not too abstract. Thanks in advance <3
There is a fair amount of discussion about this. My understanding, for what its worth is this. Collectives or social holons do not have a dominant monad. A dominant monad has some sense of identity and so has an upper left quadrant. No dominant monad, no upper left. So there is no upper left in a collective. (But it goes all the way up and all the way down. So in the sense that a liver follows us around and doesn’t go off and do its own thing, it is not a dominant monad as far as we are concerned. However the cells within a liver are governed by the liver in a sufficiently similar sense (for the purposes of our explanation) to how we govern the liver. So you could say that a liver has an upper left in that sense, If you look at the body as a whole it is always in communication via chemical signals. So the lungs are always in communication with blood cells for example.)
You have a social dimension in the sense that part of you exists and is explained by your interaction with collectives. That bit of you that only makes sense when it is seen interacting with a collective is your lower right. Your social dimension.
Given that there has to be a collective for you to communicate with for you to have a social dimension, then that group that you communicate with is a social holon.
So I go down to my local bar for a beer with my friends. There’s my sense of self telling my legs where to go and my tongue what noises to make. That’s upper left. I chat with my mate and offer him a beer. That’s two upper lefts communicating. The we that is created in our conversation is our lower lefts. This time internal. The fact that I go to a bar and my mates are male is lower left again, but this time it is external: it is the part of me that is made up of my culture that is the driving structure for that we. I love the feeling of camaraderie and interaction of all we mates together in the bar. That feeling/interaction is my lower right internal.
Someone coming into the bar and seeing us together will see a group of mates having a good time. That group of people having a good time is a social holon…It’s clearly a different entity to the four other people at the bar staring into their drinks and ignoring everyone else.
Where it gets interesting is this: the person seeing the group goes up to it and says hi! We say hi back. Now, have we done that because the group has a dominant monad which directs that we say hi or do we each leave the group so as to give our individual hi’s?
I make no claim to be correct in all of the above. It’s just the way that I understand it.