Thursday, February 07, 2013

Bonnitta Roy - AQAL 2210: A Tentative Cartology of the Future

Integral scholar (and co-editor of The Integral Review), Bonnitta Roy has posted a new article on her blog, An Integral Review of Books. This paper is, to my reading, an echo (expansion?) of the talk she gave at the 2010 Integral Theory Conference. Here is her thesis statement, sort of:
In this paper, I hypothesize three kinds of emergent, border-crossings correlating to new types of methodologies, new ways of cognitive reasoning, and new kinds of phenomenological experiences—respectively, emergent methodologies, onto-logics and post-metaphysical views. Each of these carry elements of what Gebser called Integral-A-persrpectival, which include
  • New types of language (what Gebser termed systasis)
  • New types of syntheses beyond dialectical thinking (what Gebser termed synairesis)
  • Thinking in terms of generative process (Gebserian emphasis on dynamics)
  • Processes that generate spatial and temporal frameworks (characteristically, what Gebser named the Diaphanon)
  • Onto-genetic processes that contextualize time.
  • The ontological entanglement of polarities.
  • De-objectification of phenomena.
  • The a-local subject simultaneously nowhere and everywhere.
  • Resolution of opposites into unified field dynamics (Gebser’s priority of the whole.”
  • Re-conceptualization of dualistic pairs into generative orders.
  • New ontology of wholes and parts.
  • New gestalt of figure and ground.
This is good stuff, and well-worth your time in reading it.


Posted on February 5, 2013
by bonnittaroy

Books discussed in this Section
~ Alexander, Christopher. (2001). The Phenomenon of Life (The Nature of Order Bk 1-4 ). CES Publishing, Berkeley, Ca.
~ Basseches, Michael. (1984). Dialectical Thinking and Adult Development. Ablex Publishing Corp. Norwood, New Jersey.
~ Brown, Jason (2002) The Self Embodying Mind. Barrytown,/Station Hill.
. . . (1991) Cognitive Microgenesis. Springer-Verlag, New York.
~ Cook-Greuter, Suzanne. Nine Levels of Increasing Embrace. Retrived from
~ Gebser, Jean. (1985). The Ever Present Origin. Ohio University Press, Athens.
~ Gendlin, Eugene. (1997). A Process Model. University of Chicago, Chicago, IL.
. . . (1991). Thinking Beyond Patterns: Body, Language, and Situations. University of Chicago, Chicago, IL.
. . . What First Person and Third Person Processes Really Are. Retrieved from Goswami, Amit. (1993). The Self-Aware Universe. Penguin Putnam, New York.
~ Laszlo, Ervin. (2004). Science and the Akashic Field. Inner Traditions, Rochester, VT.
~ Roy, Bonnitta. (2006). A Process Model of Integral Theory. Integral-Review, Thackhoe, Sonam. (2007). The Two Truths Debate. Wisdom Publications, Boston.
~ Thompson, Evan. (2007). Mind in Life. Belknap Press, Cambridge, MA.
~ Trungpa, Chogyam. (2004). The Collected Works of Chogyam Trungpa. Shambhala, Boston.
~ Wilber, Ken. (2007). Integral Spirituality. Shambhala, Boston.
. . . (2000). The Collected Works of Ken Wilber. Shambhala, Boston.

AQAL 2210: A Tentative Cartology* of the Future: Or How do we Get from AQAL to A-perspectival?

* Note: Cartology: cartography of discourse & meaning derived from ‘carte’- map ;’ logos’- discourse


As early as 1949 Jean Gebser (1985) predicted that Integral consciousness would have the capacity to render all the previous structures of cognition transparent. Today we have the AQAL map which identifies and contextualizes the eight indigenous or native perspectives of cognition. What is the possibility that there are emergent perspectives beyond the eight indigenous perspectives included in the AQAL framework? What would these potentially “super integrative” perspectives look like? Can we anticipate future potentials by identifying those who seem to be operating at or near the edges of these integrative perspectives today? In addition, Gebser predicted that Integral consciousness would have the capacity to make new kinds of statements, by engaging new types of thinking that would go beyond perspectival thinking into the realm of the A-perspectival. According to Gebser, the hallmarks of this new consciousness would include, in addition to transparency and integrity, dynamics of the whole, space and time freedom, and spirituality. So the question is “How do We Get from AQAL to A-perspectival- from the ability to contextualize perspectives across the boundaries that delimitate them, to a realm of unbounded wholeness? Writing in No Boundary, Ken Wilber (2000) tells us:
The ultimate metaphysical secret, if we dare state it so simply, is that there are no boundaries in the universe. Boundaries are illusions, products not of reality but of the way we map and edit reality. And while it is fine to map out the territory, it is fatal to confuse the two. (vol. 1 p. 462)

* * *

Integral theory is tricky. In many respects, it is a liberation theory – whether it addresses personal, spiritual or social concerns. At its best, integral theory enables us to dis-embedd from limited perspectival frameworks, and open up into more integrated views. However, at its worst, integral theory is absorbed as a metaphysical reality, as a fixed and static limitation on how we perceive, what we can perceive, and how reality arises. When Wilber writes that AQAL is a map of the prison, the integral community should immediately understand there is no prison except for the map. A-perspectivity is the unconditioned situation of living/being without the map. If we can learn to operate from that unconditioned place, then we can create new maps through which new worlds might arise with greater degrees of freedom and open-up our choice field. If we operate from that unconditioned place we will avoid the mistakes of misplaced concreteness that weld ideas into the bars and barriers of our self-imposed prisons. If we operate from that unconditioned place we will have transmuted the prisons of our selves into the playgrounds of spirit. We will, in other words, enter into the ever-present process of enacting our future.
This article is a series of thought-explorations on the nature of the perspectival world and the possibility of shifting toward a-perspectivity. Our starting point is the world of AQAL – the realm of perspectives. Our journey is through three kinds of “shifts” from each of their perspectival constraints toward a more a-perspectival view. In this paper, I will use the term view to represent relative degrees of freedom away from perspectivity and toward the a-perspectival. View, in this sense, is not a static dimensional object, it is a dynamic relationship toward greater degrees of freedom from perspectivity, which is to say, toward a-perspectivity.

Read the whole, long and intriguing article.

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