Vol. 5 No. 1 Jun 2009
Establishing Second-Person Forms of Contemplative Education: An Inquiry into Four Conceptions of Intersubjectivity
Abstract: Four accounts of intersubjective theory are explored as a means for providing distinctions that support the development of second-person approaches to the emerging field of contemplative education. I examine Martin Buber’s conception of the interhuman, Thich Nhat Hahn’s interbeing, Christian De Quincey’s three modes of intersubjective engagements, in addition to Wilber’s five categories of intersubjectivity with consideration for how each will contribute to further outlining second-person dimensions of contemplative education. I then locate intersubjectivity in a broader epistemological terrain and propose the notion of critical second-person contemplative education as a type of pedagogy and approach to learning within contemplative education.
The Status and Relevance of Phenomenology for Integral Research: Or Why Phenomenology is More and Different than an “Upper Left” or “Zone #1” Affair
Wendelin M. Küpers
Abstract: The specific treatment that Ken Wilber gives phenomenology in his model of integral theory requires a critical investigation. According to Wilber’s model, different methodologies are situated in distinct quadrants or “domains of knowing,” namely the subjective, objective, intersubjective and interobjective domains, labeled by their position in the model’s matrix illustration, upper left, upper right, lower left, lower right. In this model, phenomenology is isolated in the UL quadrant, and even more specifically as the inside perspective of this subjective domain. What this means is that, according to Wilber’s classification, phenomenology is an exclusive, rather than inclusive, approach that limits its field of inquiry and therefore its range of knowing also to an inside exploration of the subjective.
In contrast to this positioning, a critical reflection on the current status and usage of phenomenology in integral theory is provided. The goal of this undertaking is to show that phenomenology–particularly in its more advanced forms–is more and different than something to put merely into “upper left” quadrant or to understand only as a “Zone 1” affair suggested in the conventional integral model.
In the first part the paper outlines an introductory understanding and examines classical (Husserlian) phenomenology as well as illustrates some of its limitations. Based on various critiques and further developments of phenomenology, the status and usage of phenomenology in integral (AQAL) theory is discussed critically. Particularly, this concerns the ordering of phenomenology into a separate realm or zone, the status of consciousness, including the debate related to its structure and states, and inter-subjective dimensions as well as the relation to contemplation and meditation.In a second part the paper introduces the more advanced phenomenology of Merleau-Ponty that overcomes the limitations of the previous versions of phenomenology. Advanced phenomenology entails a strong proto-integral potential and as such contributes to compensating for some of the weaknesses and limitations of integral theory.
Furthermore, a third part proposes that such advanced phenomenology provides the foundations for an “adequate phenomenology” in integral research. Based on the specific ontological, epistemological, and methodological considerations, this final part and the conclusion outline some perspectives on what is called integral “pheno-practice.” The explicated criticism and the proposed pheno-practical approach might enrich integral research, improve its theory building and empirical testing by offering perspectives of a more inclusive, coherent and relevant nexus of ideas and possibilities for integrative theory and practice.
Abstract: Integrally-informed educational approaches have much in common with progressive (including reform, alternative, holistic, and transformative) approaches, and share many of the same values. One function of the integral approach is to provide an overarching model within which to coordinate different progressive methods. Though integral adds much more than that, descriptions of integral education sometimes sound like progressive educational principles recast with new terminology. This essay attempts to clarify what the integral approach adds over and above progressive educational theories. After an overview of progressive pedagogical principles, the integral approach is discussed in terms of integral as a model, a method, a community, and a developmental stage. Integral as a type of consciousness or developmental level is elaborated upon as consisting of construct-awareness, ego-awareness, relational-awareness, and system-awareness, all important to the educational process. Finally, challenges and support systems for realizing integral education are discussed.
Hector Currie with Juan Pacheco
Abstract: “Paranada: Beyond Beyond” represents the culmination of the author’s research findings of geometric evidence in the Pythagorean design of the temple and theatre complex of the ancient Greek Temple of Delphi. Rather than a dualistic moral judgment, Delphic rites sought a dynamic equipoise between Apollonian and Dionysian psychic forces, transcending the self/boundless dichotomy. The temple has a deflection of 7.5 degrees—1/12th the 90-degree gravitational fall of all existents, the gravitational factor in music theory (as in the Pythagorean “harmony of the spheres”) in each note’s descent in the 12-tone scale’s octaval fall. Significantly, this means that the Delphic design encapsulates a space/time concordance. The design reveals that Pythagoras’ epochal concept of a transcendent kosmos is realized in both space (the sacred site’s cosmic plan) and in time (the nightly celestial whirl of constellations above it). “Paranada” traces this discovery of a divine order at the Delphic center to the sages of the kingdom of Bharat in ancient India and the birth of speculation on the meaning of existence in their most sacred Rig Vedic “Creation Hymn” X. 129. “Paranada” thus suggests that the Western cultural tradition is derived not ultimately from Greece, but from India, and contemplates the significance such ancient visionary philosophical insight might have for the daunting challenges continually confronting us. This work constitutes an eclectic integration of transdisciplinary insights into the known and the unknown, the arts and the sciences, and science and religion. In descriptive and poetic forms, “Paranada” seeks to find vital correspondences and affinities among Pythagorean geometry; numerology; cosmology; ancient psychologies; nature philosophy and mysticism; Greek mythology; Greek, Shakespearean, and modern tragedy; quantum physics and astrophysics; and transcendent cosmic consciousness.
Tags: integration, Hector Currie, Juan Pacheco, Anaximander, cosmology, equipoise, gravitational factor, Greek, harmony of the spheres, nature philosophy, quantum physics, Pythagoras, Shakespeare, Temple at Delphi, tragedy, transcendence