TFA and Perspective of Perspectives

marmalade
I think the best integral model is about perspectives because a model itself offers a perspective and its only through our individual perspective(and our cultural-historical perspective) that we can understand a model’s perspective. Another type of integral model creates descriptive categories which at its best has practical use, and at its worse creates unuseful or unclear distinctions.

I think Spiral Dynamics is more of the former, and Wilber’s quadrants is more of the latter; but there is much cross-over. Spiral Dynamics can be used to categorize, but I think this is a wrong use of it. Wilber’s quadrants can be used to represent perspectives which is how Wilber has tried to refine it, but still I find the quadrants disatisfying in this manner.

A perspective of perspectives is priveleged because it subsumes all else. Any model we create is created by humans on the planet earth during a very short span of time. I haven’t yet had a transcending vision of God’s view, and I’m not convinced anyone else has either. This notion of a perspective of perspectives is postmodern in the sense that it isn’t an objective framework that allows us to see outside of it, but neither can we separate it from what we are trying to explain by it. We are our perspectives meaning we change as our perspectives change.

Despite what to some may seem like subjective relativism, any model of perspectives isn’t separate from the context of the larger world that informs our perspective even if we don’t or can’t entirely comprehend it. We are part of the world and so our perspectives aren’t constrained by limited notions of individuality. We can infer that this perspective of perspectives somehow reflects a larger world context because afterall it is this that our perspectives have arisen or evolved from. There is no necessity to make any metaphysical interpretations, but speculating might be useful if it leads to new perspectives that we can then verify in our own experience.

Everything is a perspective including all aspects of an ITP. Its not having a balanced life that creates an integral perspective. There must be something within our awareness that connects it all even if only on a vague level of intention.

Basically, what I’m speaking about here is a TFA(Theory For Everything) rather than a TOE. A TFA doesn’t need to explain everything. It only needs to explain how we go about explaining and the constraints thereof, and there is no reason to assume that everything that we can explain is everything that exists. We don’t need to create a cosmological model of all reality nor a grand scientific synthesis nor theorize beyond our direct experience. A perspective of perspectives is a much less grand goal, but also much more subtle.

I have many thoughts on this matter, but I’m still thinking it all out. I’m pointing towards an archetypal explanation of model-making. The content can be anything, but there remains basic tendencies of how all models are made. And this inherent cognitive functioning of the human psyche effects the content that is modelled. We never see reality directly for what it is because we always are modelling whether consciously or unconsciously.

As an example of what I’m thinking about, check out C. J. Lofting’s theory:
http://members.iimetro.com.au/~lofting/myweb/idm001.html

Does anyone have any ideas relating to the idea of a “perspective of perspectives” or of a TFA?

Does anyone know of any interesting forum discussions about this or any interesting websites?

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marmalade Permalink Reply by marmalade on November 30, 2007 at 7:16pm
What I’m bringing up here also relates to the criticism of Wilber’s model dismissing the Western occult tradition. Fundamentally, the occult is about experience. Some people don’t like models such as Wilber presents because they seem too abstract. This is a challenge of studying Wilber. He covers so much material that it is difficult for anyone to research in depth in order to verify all of his sources. We just have to trust Wilber.

This is fine up to a point, but I want a basic framework that can be verified in my everyday and not-so-everyday experiences. For instance, I don’t simply accept spiral dynamics. I’ve looked at the world through this lense and it made sense of much of my experience. And hopefully science will further clarify its veracity or not.

Also, spiral dynamics appears to generally fit the modelling pattern of the chakra system. They aren’t the same, but maybe the same patterns in the human psyche have influenced both to create similar structures of meaning. As far as I know, Clare Graves wasn’t basing his research on the theory of the chakras. It doesn’t matter that the two theories are referring towards different views of reality. If there is an archetypal patterning process, then similar models will create simlar connections between ideas even when those ideas seem in disagreement.

I don’t know if that was a good example, but its an obvious comparison. What I’m interested in is similar to what Campbell was looking for in comparing myths from entirely separate cultures. So, I’m wondering whether there is a monomyth of models. Loftings basic idea is that all models begin with some basic duality and that is then fed back into itself to create further distinctions. The most clear example he presents for how this occurs is the I Ching. And the I Ching could be seen as a model of perspectives.

Beebe is a Jungian theorist who proposed that archetype, complex, and type are getting at the same notion. I take Wilber’s criticism seriously that there is a pre/trans confusion in Jung’s archetypes. Jung did imply a hierarchy of archetypes(see James Whitlark’s explanation of individuation as it relates to Spiral Dynamics), but he left this unclear. Similarly, how do memes, holons, and morphic fields relate? All of these kinds of ideas put forth that there is something that creates coherence in our experience in a predictable way.

I found an interesting thread discussion related to all of this at Integral Review Forums:

Thinking postformally about “theory building”
http://global-arina.org/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=24

[quote=”jgidley”]I see the link between architecture and thinking as one of the important contributions of postmodernism. Although it is emphasized by Steiner’s and Sri Aurobindo’s integral lineages, it is essentially overlooked in much other integral theory.[/quote]

This reminds me of how mnemonics was intimately connected with architecture.

[quote=”bonnittaroy”]My feeling is that it depends upon one’s relationshipto one’s theory-making. Some people (like Shoepnehauer) build theories to try to get at what reality really is. They expect that the intellect is the portal to answer that question. Others, like Whitehead and Guenther, are theory-making to tease out what is implicit in their view, that may be hidden or unformed and as yet to be articulated. In the process, what is brewing there, becomes disclosed and “known” in a more conventional way. The theory can serve as a “marker” for other people to discuss synergistically implicit views, and move the understanding forward.

Theory making in the second sense is more like thought-experimenting. Or creating an aesthetic. This is not limited to philosophy. I love the way physicists do thought experiments like Schrodinger’s Cat and Wheeler’s Daemon.

The above comment pertains to people who actively see themselves as doing theory. But I would like also to explore how there is a kind of theory -building that is implicit in cognizing reality at all. Everyone has, at bottom, certain fundamental assumptions about reality– it is consumate with how reality arises at all. Reality arises such that I feel I am an individual being. But that is certainly just one view– based in a kind of implicit theory — the set of conditions of my cognizing mind.

Above that very fundamental level, there are the basic beliefs about reality that we hold — implicitly or explicity — that also are a kind of theory-building that is going on all the time. In the integral community, for example, there are fundamental beliefs that few people would consider “theory building” and many would consider a description of how reality really is, namely, the holarchic organization of reality, the hierarchic organization of reality, the notion of development and evolution. These are tenets that underwrite our more obvious practices of theory building, but they are in themselves, the product of implicit theory building.

I believe that an example of post-formal operations is to be able to “hold” each of these kinds of cognitive processes very very lightly — to be able to see them as processes that are going on all the time in a very intimate and implicit way. And to be able to make what is implicit, explicit — so we can be liberated from their limitations, while at the same time, expand our choice field as to what set or set of theories (thought experiments) might be more helpful/ useful.[/quote]

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marmalade Permalink Reply by marmalade on November 30, 2007 at 11:22pm
I can’t claim to entirely understand what Lofting is getting at here. I have a high tolerance for abstraction and I get the gist of his theory, but I wish he used more grounded examples. He speaks alot about mathematics and he loses me.
http://members.iimetro.com.au/~lofting/myweb/NeuroMaths3.htm#Recursion

The WHAT
The emphasis on WHAT is an emphasis on an object, a bounded ‘thing’ that can be tangible (as in a ball) or intangible (as in a marriage). Note how the intangible reflects what we call nominalisation where a process (and so a relationship, ’.. getting married’) has been converted into a noun, a thing (‘this marriage…’).

Although the term ‘what’ has a general nature about it, it still has a ‘point’ or ‘dot’ emphasis and we can refine this emphasis further by introducing additional terms such as WHO and WHICH. These terms act to particularise the general in that the ‘what’ realm is strongly ‘dot’ oriented and as such favours clear, precise, identifications and so a more LOCAL, discrete perspective.

This emphasis on ‘dot’ precision forces a degree of focus that can distort all considerations of the context in which the dot exists in that the precision requires a dependence on a universal context to support it.

The WHERE
The emphasis on WHERE is an emphasis on a relationship, there is a coordinates bias ‘relative’ to something else. There is a more intangible element here in that a set of relationships can go towards identifying an object by implications; there is an intuitive emphasis where a pattern based on linking a set of coordinates is ‘suddenly’ recognised as implying ‘something’; in other words there is a ‘constellations’ emphasis where objects are linked together to form a pattern that is then itself objectified; for example there is a strong emphasis here to geometric forms –e. g. ‘triangles’, ‘cubes’ etc. which in basic mathematics come out of joining coordinates.

This emphasis on constellation formation means that, when compared to the realm of the ‘what’, the ‘where’ reflects a LACK in precision where (!) the identification of something is made by identifying a pattern of landmarks ‘around’ the something. There is thus a strong context-sensitivity in the ‘where’ analysis when compared to the more precise, almost context-free (or local context-ignored) emphasis in the ‘what’ analysis. Thus the transference of a ‘where’ to a ‘what’ through the process of nominalisation acts to de-contextualise or more so encapsulate the context with the text. (See figure 1).

In general the term ‘where’ is as general as the term ‘what’ and as such we can introduce additional terms such as WHEN and HOW to aid in particularising the general. When compared to the distinctions of WHO and WHICH, the WHEN and HOW terms are highly dependent on coordinates (space and/or time), on establishing specific ‘begin-end’ positions rather than emphasis on a point free of any extensions.>>

Recursion and Emerging Numeracy
The recursion process is where an element is applied to itself, thus the identification of an object causes us to zoom-in on that object for details. This process leads to the recognition of such concepts as an object’s negation that at the general level relates to the entire universe exclusive of the object, and at the particular level the objects direct opposite (e.g. positive/negative, earth/sky etc).

Analysis of the patterns that emerge from applying the what/where dichotomy to itself leads to the identification of four fundamental distinctions which we can tie to feelings and so tie to pre-linguistic understandings of reality. These distinctions are:

Objects:

Wholes

Parts

Relationships:

Static

Dynamic

Note that a ‘part’ is the term we use for the combination of (a) an object and (b) a relationship to a greater object and it is the word ‘part’ that reflects what we can call the superposition of two distinctions – the distinction of ‘wholeness’ combined with the distinction of ‘relatedness’.>>

 

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BrightAbyss~ Permalink Reply by BrightAbyss~ on December 1, 2007 at 1:03am
YOU: I think the best integral model is about perspectives

ME: we gotta start there. It’s all about perspectives. Descartes tried to build up from the cogito (1PP), and then Husserl, but Merleau-Ponty did it better… A naturalist (integral) philosophy emerges out of a deep understanding of human knowledge-making and perspectives…

YOU: This notion of a perspective of perspectives is postmodern in the sense that it isn’t an objective framework that allows us to see outside of it, but neither can we separate it from what we are trying to explain by it.

ME: You gotta read Pierre Bourdieu’s work. Especially “The Logic of Practice” – where he talks about “objectifying objectification”. I think you’d find a kindred spirit with re: to perspectives.

YOU: Despite what to some may seem like subjective relativism, any model of perspectives isn’t separate from the context of the larger world that informs our perspective even if we don’t or can’t entirely comprehend it. We are part of the world and so our perspectives aren’t constrained by limited notions of individuality.

ME: This is why we have to be happy finding our way (carving out an existence) & dwelling in ‘worldspaces’ – with very HUMAN knowledges generated out of our Life Conditions (cf. Wittgenstein’s ‘Forms of Life’) and articulated through the rich tapestry of experience, being and relating.

I think ‘contingency’ is a key concept for understanding embodied human knowing… But just remember our perspectives are not so totally divorced from the Real, because there is an intimacy and immediacy our being-in-the-world that necessarily encounters actual life conditions.

YOU: We never see reality directly for what it is because we always are modelling whether consciously or unconsciously.

ME: Idealism is a very sick joke played on us by our own abstractions… We are OF the world so we can directly ‘know’ it in so many practical and meaningful ways… Don’t fall into the trap of believing a priori that “we can never really know the thing-in-itself”. Human knowledge is grounded in human kinds of knowing, with its many faults, but – like you say- it is the ONLY kind of (contextual) knowing we have, so lets get over ourselves and get to the actual work of putting our models/worldviews/discourse in the service of HEALTH & ADAPTATION.

YOU: This is fine up to a point, but I want a basic framework that can be verified in my everyday and not-so-everyday experiences.

ME: Then I believe you came to the right place. For instance, if AQAL is Wilber’s metaphoric ‘Integral Operating System’ (IOS), then what this network/forum wants to facilitate is allowing people at higher ‘altitudes’ of consciousness to evolve IOS’s of their OWN – developing and operating “applications” relevant to specific individuals, groups, projects, and always in context.

In other words, this forum is wants to help people develop their own “integral operating systems” but with OPEN “sources” – ie, drawing from various theories and traditions, and data.

So if Wilber’s AQAL can be compared to MicroSoft’s Windows operating system, then our project (at the Integral Research Group) can be compared to Linux – in that we want to help create alternative OPEN SOURCE integral (OSI) operating “systems” (theories and practical applications).

You see, the door is wide OPEN to collaborative innovation re: discourse dynamics, integral thinking, healthy being and adaptive relations.

What say you?

cheers~

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marmalade Permalink Reply by marmalade on December 3, 2007 at 10:33pm
Bright Abyss: “we gotta start there. It’s all about perspectives. Descartes tried to build up from the cogito (1PP), and then Husserl, but Merleau-Ponty did it better… A naturalist (integral) philosophy emerges out of a deep understanding of human knowledge-making and perspectives…”

Basically, I believe the most useful integral perspective is the one that precedes the seeking for an integral theory. Integral isn’t an unnatural or even new phenomenon. In terms of Spiral Dynamics, the higher levels are somehow already implied by the lower levels. In terms of Jung, archetypes precede specific manifestations of them as symbols or whatever.

BA: “You gotta read Pierre Bourdieu’s work. Especially “The Logic of Practice” – where he talks about “objectifying objectification”. I think you’d find a kindred spirit with re: to perspectives.”

Thanks for the suggestion.

BA: “This is why we have to be happy finding our way (carving out an existence) & dwelling in ‘worldspaces’ – with very HUMAN knowledges generated out of our Life Conditions (cf. Wittgenstein’s ‘Forms of Life’) and articulated through the rich tapestry of experience, being and relating.

I think ‘contingency’ is a key concept for understanding embodied human knowing… But just remember our perspectives are not so totally divorced from the Real, because there is an intimacy and immediacy our being-in-the-world that necessarily encounters actual life conditions.”

I’m intrigued by what you said here. Could you explain some more? How do you relate this to an integral view? Did I seem to imply that I thought perspectives are somehow divorced from the REAL? What do you mean by the REAL? What do you mean by ‘contingency’?

BA: “Idealism is a very sick joke played on us by our own abstractions… We are OF the world so we can directly ‘know’ it in so many practical and meaningful ways… Don’t fall into the trap of believing a priori that “we can never really know the thing-in-itself”. Human knowledge is grounded in human kinds of knowing, with its many faults, but – like you say- it is the ONLY kind of (contextual) knowing we have, so lets get over ourselves and get to the actual work of putting our models/worldviews/discourse in the service of HEALTH & ADAPTATION.”

When I spoke of not being able to directly know reality, I was referring to mental knowing. I agree there are many other kinds of knowing besides this. I had to laught at you last sentence. I’m far from getting over myself and I’m no model of HEALTH & ADAPTATION. I’m a seeker and that is the best I can claim for myself.

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marmalade Permalink Reply by marmalade on December 3, 2007 at 10:41pm
Chiron posted this at Lightmind:

By Colin McGinn

The Stuff of Thought: Language as a Window into Human Nature
by Steven Pinker

The Stuff of Thought is Steven Pinker’s fifth popular book in thirteen years, and by now we know what to expect. It is long, packed with information, clear, witty, attractively written, and generally persuasive. The topic, as earlier, is language and the mind—specifically, how language reflects human psychological nature. What can we learn about the mind by examining, with the help of linguistics and experimental psychology, the language we use to express ourselves?

Pinker ranges widely, from the verb system of English, to the idea of an innate language of thought, to metaphor, to naming, obscenity, and politeness. He is unfailingly engaging to read, with his aptly chosen cartoons, his amusing examples, and his bracing theoretical rigor. Yet there are signs of fatigue, not so much in the energy and enthusiasm he has put into the book as in the sometimes less than satisfying quality of the underlying ideas. I don’t blame the author for this: it is very hard to write anything deep, surprising, and true in psychology—especially when it comes to the most interesting aspects of our nature (such as our use of metaphor). A popular book on biology or physics will reliably deli-ver well-grounded information about things you don’t already know; in psychology the risk of banality dressed up as science is far greater. Sometimes in Pinker’s book the ratio of solid ideas to sparkling formulations is uncomfortably low (I found this particularly in the lively and amusing chapter on obscenity). He has decided to be ambitious, and there is no doubt of his ability to keep the show on the road, but it is possible to finish a long chapter of The Stuff of Thought and wonder what you have really learned—enjoyable as the experience of reading it may have been.

To my mind, by far the most interesting chapter of the book is the lengthy discussion of verbs—which may well appear the driest to some readers. Verbs are the linguistic keyhole to the mind’s secrets, it turns out. When children learn verbs they are confronted with a problem of induction: Can the syntactic rules that govern one verb be projected to another verb that has a similar meaning? Suppose you have already learned how to use the verb “load” in various syntactic combinations; you know that you can say both Hal loaded the wagon with hay and Hal loaded hay into the wagon. Linguists call the first kind of sentence a “container locative” and the second a “content locative,” because of the way they focus attention on certain aspects of the event reported—the wagon (container) or the hay (content), respectively (the word “locative” referring here to the way words express location). The two sentences seem very close in meaning, and the verb load slots naturally into the sentence frame surrounding it. So, can other verbs like fill and pour enter into the same combinations? The child learning English verbs might well suppose that they can, thus instantiating a rule of grammar that licenses certain syntactic transformations—to the effect that you can always rewrite a content locative as a container locative and vice versa. But if we look at how pour and fill actually work we quickly see that they violate any such rule. You can say John poured water into the glass (content locative) but you can’t say John poured the glass with water (container locative); whereas you can say John filled the glass with water (container locative) but you can’t say John filled water into the glass (content locative).

Somehow a child has to learn these syntactic facts about the verbs load, pour, and fill—and the rules governing them are very different. Why does one verb figure in one kind of construction but not in another? They all look like verbs that specify the movement of a type of stuff into a type of container, and yet they behave differently with respect to the syntactic structures in question. It’s puzzling.

The answer Pinker favors to this and similar puzzles is that the different verbs subtly vary in the way they construe the event they report: pour focuses on the type of movement that is involved in the transfer of the stuff, while neglecting the end result; fill by contrast specifies the final state and omits to say how that state precisely came about (and it might not have been by pouring). But load tells you both things: the type of movement and what it led to. Hence the verbs combine differently with constructions that focus on the state of the container and constructions that focus on the manner by which the container was affected.

The syntactic rules that control the verbs are thus sensitive to the precise meaning of the specific verb and how it depicts a certain event. And this means that someone who understands these verbs must tacitly grasp how this meaning plays out in the construction of sentences; thus the child has to pick up on just such subtle differences of meaning if she is to infer the right syntactic rule for the verb in question. Not consciously, of course; her brain must perform this work below the level of conscious awareness. She must implicitly analyze the verb—exposing its deep semantic structure. Moreover, these verbs form natural families, united by the way they conceive of actions—whether by their manner or by their end result. In the same class as pour, for example, we have dribble, drip, funnel, slosh, spill, and spoon.

This kind of example—and there is a considerable range of them—leads Pinker to a general hypothesis about the verb system of English (as well as other languages): the speaker must possess a language of thought that represents the world according to basic abstract categories like space, time, substance, and motion, and these categories constitute the meaning of the verb. When we use a particular verb in a sentence, we bring to bear this abstract system to “frame” reality in certain ways, thus imposing an optional grid on the flux of experience. We observe some liquid moving into a container and we describe it either as an act of pouring or as the state of being filled: a single event is construed in different ways, each reflecting the aspect we choose to focus on. None of this is conscious or explicit; indeed, it took linguists a long time to figure out why some verbs work one way and some another (Pinker credits the MIT linguists Malka Rappaport Hovav and Beth Levin). We are born with an implicit set of innate categories that organize events according to a kind of primitive physics, dealing with substance, motion, causality, and purpose, and we combine these to generate a meaning for a particular verb that we understand. The grammar of our language reflects this innate system of concepts.

As Pinker is aware, this is a very Kantian picture of human cognition. Kant regarded the mind as innately stocked with the basic concepts that make up Newtonian mechanics—though he didn’t reach that conclusion from a consideration of the syntax of verbs. And the view is not in itself terribly surprising: many philosophers have observed that the human conceptual scheme is essentially a matter of substances in space and time, causally interacting, moving and changing, obeying laws and subject to forces—with some of those substances being agents—i.e., conscious, acting human beings—with intentions and desires. What else might compose it? Here is a case where the conclusion reached by the dedicated psycholinguist is perhaps less revolutionary than he would like to think. The chief interest of Pinker’s discussion is the kind of evidence he adduces to justify such a hypothesis, rather than the hypothesis itself—evidence leading from syntax to cosmology, we might say. Of course the mind must stock basic concepts for the general structure of the universe if it is to grasp the nature of particular things within it; but it is still striking to learn that this intuitive physics shapes the very syntax of our language.

Not that everyone will agree with the general hypothesis itself—and Pinker has a whole chapter on innateness and the language of thought. Here he steers deftly between the extreme nativism of Jerry Fodor, according to which virtually every concept is innate, including trombone and opera (despite the fact that the concepts must therefore have preceded the invention of what they denote, being merely triggered into consciousness by experience of trombones and operas), and the kind of pragmatism that refuses to assign a fixed meaning to any word. Pinker sees that something conceptual has to be innate if language learning is to be possible at all, but he doesn’t believe it can be anything parochial and specific; so he concludes that only the most general categories of the world are present in the genes—the categories that any human being (or animal) needs to use if he or she is to survive at all. Among such categories, for example, are: event, thing, path, place, manner, acting, going, having, animate, rigid, flexible, past, present and future, causality, enabling and preventing, means and ends.

The picture then is that these innate abstract concepts mesh with the individual’s experience to yield the specific conceptual scheme that eventually flowers in the mind. The innate concepts pre-date language acquisition and make it possible; they are not the products of language. Thus Pinker rejects the doctrine of “linguistic determinism,” which holds that thought is nothing other than the result of the language we happen to speak—as in the infamous hypothesis of the linguists Benjamin Whorf and Harold Sapir that our thoughts are puppets of our words (as with the Eskimos who use many different words for snow). The point Pinker makes here—and it is a good one—is that we mustn’t mistake correlation for causation, assuming that because concepts and words go together the latter are the causes of the former. Indeed, it is far more plausible to suppose that our language is caused by our thoughts—that we can only introduce words for which we already have concepts. Words express concepts; they don’t create them.

Let’s suppose, then, that Pinker and others are right to credit the mind with an original system of basic physical concepts, supplemented with some concepts for number, agency, logic, and the like. We innately conceive of the world as containing what he calls “force dynamics”—substances moving through space, under forces, and impinging on other objects, changing their state. How do we get from this to the full panoply of human thought? How do we get to science, art, politics, economics, ethics, and so on? His answer is that we do it by judicious use of metaphor and the combinatorial power of language, as when words combine to produce the unlimited expressions of a human language. Language has infinite potential, because of its ability to combine words and phrases into sentences without limit: this is by now a well-worn point.

More controversial is the suggestion that metaphor is the way we transcend the merely mechanical—the bridge by which physics leads us to more abstract domains. Pinker notes, as many have before, that we routinely use spatial expressions to describe time (“he moved the meeting to Tuesday,” “don’t look backward”), as well as employ words like rise, fall, went, and send to capture events that are not literally spatial (prices rising, messages sent, and so on). Science itself is often powered by analogies, as when heat was conceived as a fluid and its laws derived accordingly. Our language is transparently shot through with meta-phors of one kind or another. But it is far from clear that everything we do with concepts and language can be accounted for in this way; consider how we think and talk about consciousness and the mind, or our moral thinking. The concept of pain, say, is not explicable as a metaphorical variation on some sort of physical concept.

It just doesn’t seem true that everything nonphysical that we think about is metaphorical; for example, our legal concepts such as “rights” are surely not all mere metaphors, introduced on the shoulders of the concepts of intuitive physics. So there is a question how Pinker’s alleged language of thought, restricted as it is, can suffice to generate our total conceptual scheme; in which case we will need to count more concepts as innate (what about contract or punishment?)—or else rethink the whole innateness question. Not that I have any good suggestions about how human concepts come to be; my point is just that Pinker’s set of basic Kantian concepts seems too exiguous to do the job.

If the Kantian categories are supposed to make thought and language possible, then they also, for Pinker, impose limits on our mental functioning. This is a second main theme of his book: the human mind, for all its rich innate endowment, is fallible, prone to confusion, easily foiled. The very concepts that enable us to think coherently about the world can lead us astray when we try to extend them beyond their natural domain. Pinker discusses the concepts of space and time, exposing the paradoxes that result from asking whether these are finite or infinite; either way, human thought reels. As he says, we can’t think without these concepts, but we can’t make sense of them—not when we start to think hard about what they involve. For example, if space is bounded, what lies on the other side of the boundary? But if it’s not bounded, we seem saddled with an infinite amount of matter—which implies multiple identical universes.

The concept of free will poses similar paradoxes: either human choices are caused or they are not, but either way we can’t seem to make sense of free will. A lot of philosophy is like that; a familiar concept we use all the time turns puzzling and paradoxical once we try to make systematic sense of it. Pinker has fun detailing the natural errors to which the human mind is prone when trying to reason statistically or economically; human specimens are notoriously poor at reasoning in these matters. Even more mortifying, our prized intuitive physics, foundation of all our thought, is pretty bad as physics: projectiles don’t need impetus to keep them in steady motion, no matter what Aristotle and common sense may say. As Newton taught us, motion, once it begins, is preserved without the pressure of a continuously applied force—as when a meteor keeps moving in a straight line, though no force maintains this motion. And relativity and quantum theory violate commonsense physics at every turn.

Our natural concepts are as much a hindrance to thought as they are a springboard for it. When we try to turn our minds away from their primitive biological tasks toward modern science and industrial-electronic society we struggle and fall into fallacies; it’s an uphill battle to keep our concepts on track. Our innate “common sense” is riddled with error and confusion—not all of it harmless (as with the economically naive ideas about what constitutes a “fair price”).

Pinker also has three bulky chap-ters on the social aspects of language, dealing with naming and linguistic innovation in general, with obscenity and taboo words, and with politeness and authority relations in speech. The chapter on naming achieves something I thought was impossible: it gives an accurate exposition of the philosopher Saul Kripke’s classic discussion of proper names by a nonphilosopher—the gist of which is that the reference of a name is fixed not by the descriptive information in the mind of the speaker but by a chain of uses stretching back to an initial identification. For example, I refer to a certain Greek philosopher with the name “Plato” in virtue of the chain of uses that link my present use with that of ancient Greeks who knew him, not in virtue of having in my mind some description that picks him out uniquely from every other Greek philosopher.

Apart from this, Pinker worries at the question of fashions in names and how they change. He refutes such popular theories as that names are taken from public figures or celebrities; usually, the trend is already in place—and anyway the name “Humphrey” never took off, despite the star of Casablanca. It is fascinating to read that in the early part of the twentieth century the following names were reserved primarily for men: Beverly, Dana, Evelyn, Gail, Leslie, Meredith, Robin, and Shirley. But not much emerges about why names change as they do, besides some platitudes about the need for elites to stand out by adopting fashions different from the common herd.

I very much enjoyed the chapter on obscenity, which asks the difficult question of how words deemed taboo differ from their inoffensive syn-onyms (e.g., shit and feces). It can’t obviously be the referent of the term, since that is the same, and it isn’t merely that the taboo words are more accurately descriptive (excre-ment is equally accurate, but it isn’t taboo). Pinker reports, no doubt correctly, that swearing forces the hearer to entertain thoughts he’d rather not, but that too fails to distinguish taboo words from their nontaboo synonyms. The phenomenon is especially puzzling when we note that words can vary over time in their taboo value: damn used to be unutterable in polite society, while word was once quite inoffensive (Pinker reports a fifteenth-century medical textbook that reads “in women the neck of the bladder is short, and is made fast to the word”).

Of particular interest to the grammarian is the fact that in English all the impolite words for the sexual act are transitive verbs, while all the polite forms involve intransitive verbs: word, screw,hump, shag, bang versus have sex, make love, sleep together, go to bed, copulate. As Pinker astutely observes, the transitive sexual verbs, like other verbs in English, bluntly connote the nature of the motion involved in the reported action with an agent and a receiver of that motion, whereas the intransitive forms are discreetly silent about exactly how the engaged objects move in space. The physical forcefulness of the act is thus underlined in the transitive forms but not in the intransitive ones. None of this explains why some verbs for intercourse are offensive while others are not, but it’s surely significant that different physical images are conjured up by the different sexual locutions—with word semantically and syntactically like staband have sex like have lunch.

Pinker’s discussion of politeness verges closest to platitude—noting, for example, that bribes cannot usually afford to be overt and that authority relations are sometimes encoded in speech acts, as with tu and vous in French. Here he relies heavily on lively examples and pop culture references, but the ideas at play are thin and rather forced. But, as I say, he has a tough assignment here—trying to extract theoretical substance from something both familiar and unsystematic. Laying out a game theory matrix, with its rows and columns of payoffs, for a potential bribe to a traffic cop adds little to the obvious description of such a situation.

The book returns to its core themes in the final chapter, “Escaping the Cave.” Pinker sums up:

Quote:
Human characterizations of reality are built out of a recognizable inventory of thoughts. The inventory begins with some basic units, like events, states, things, substances, places, and goals. It specifies the basic ways in which these units can do things: acting, going, changing, being, having. One event may be seen as impinging on another, by causing or enabling or preventing it. An action can be initiated with a goal in mind, in particular, the destination of a motion (as in loading hay) or the state resulting from a change (as in loading a wagon). Objects are differentiated by whether they are human or nonhuman, animate or inanimate, solid or aggregate, and how they are laid out along the three dimensions of space. Events are conceived as taking up stretches of time and as being ordered with respect to one another.

If that strikes you as a bit platitudinous, then such is the lot of much psychology—usually the good sort. What is interesting is the kind of evidence that can be given for these claims and the way they play out in language and behavior—not the content of the claims themselves.

But Pinker is also anxious to reiterate his thesis that our conceptual scheme is like Plato’s cave, in giving us only a partial and distorted vision of reality. We need to escape our natural way of seeing things, as well as appreciate its (limited) scope. Plato himself regarded a philosophical education as the only way to escape the illusions and errors of common sense—the cave in which we naturally dwell. Pinker too believes that education is necessary in order to correct and transcend our innate cognitive slant on the world. This means, unavoidably, using a part of our mind to get beyond the rest of our mind, so that there must be a part that is capable of distancing itself from the rest. He says little about how this might be possible—how that liberating part might operate—beyond what he has said about metaphors and the infinity of language. And the question is indeed difficult: How could the mind ever have the ability to step outside of itself? Aren’t we always trapped inside our given conceptual scheme? How do we bootstrap ourselves to real wisdom from the morass of innate confusion?

One reason it is hard to answer this question is that it is obscure what a concept is to start with. And here there is a real lacuna in Pinker’s book: no account is given of the nature of the basic concepts that are held to constitute the mind’s powers. He tells us at one point that the theory of conceptual semantics “proposes that word senses are mentally represented as expressions in a richer and more abstract language of thought,” as if concepts could literally be symbols in the language of thought. The idea then is that when we understand a verb like pour we translate it into a complex of symbols in the brain’s innate code (rather like the code used by a computer), mental counterparts of public words like move, cause, change. But that leaves wide open the question of how those inner words have meaning; they can’t just be bits of code, devoid of semantic content. We need to credit people with full-blown concepts at the foundation of their conceptual scheme—not just words for concepts.

Pinker has listed the types of concepts that may be supposed to lie at the foundation, but he hasn’t told us what those concepts consist in—what they are. So we don’t yet know what the stuff of thought is—only that it must have a certain form and content. Nowhere in the course of a long book on concepts does Pinker ever confront the really hard question of what a concept might be. Some theorists have supposed concepts to be mental images, others that they are capacities to discriminate objects, others dispositions to use words, others that they are mythical entities.

The problem is not just that this is a question Pinker fails to answer or even acknowledge; it is that without an answer it is difficult to see how we can make headway with questions about what our concepts do and do not permit. Is it our concepts themselves that shackle us in the cave or is it rather our interpretations of them, or maybe our associated theories of what they denote? Where exactly might a concept end and its interpretation begin? Is our concept of something identical to our conception of it—the things we believe about it? Do our concepts intrinsically blind us or is it just what we do with them in thought and speech that causes us to fail to grasp them? Concepts are the material that constitutes thought and makes language meaningful, but we are very far from understanding what kind of thing they are—and Pinker’s otherwise admirable book takes us no further with this fundamental question.

New York Times Book Review
Volume 54, Number 14 · September 27, 2007

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marmalade Permalink Reply by marmalade on December 7, 2007 at 11:36pm
I just came across Gerry Goddard’s writings. His theory is based on archetypes and he references Richard Tarnas throughout his book. Tarnas wrote the book ‘Cosmos and Psyche’ which is an analysis of history using astrological patterns. He is the first writer who made astrology meaningfully accessible to me.

Here is Goddard’s book on-line that he finished right before he died:
http://www.islandastrology.net/contents.htm

Here is a quote from his article on postmodernism that seemed appropriate:
http://www.islandastrology.net/mut-post.html

Is astrology just another dish to choose from the endless buffet of competing delights, just another Wittgensteinian language game, another social ‘form of life,’ or is it truly an ancient parchment that charts a way through this particularly difficult though fascinating terrain? In one sense, astrology is quintessentially postmodern in that it is entirely constructed of symbols reflecting and referring to other symbols within a multidimensional hologram or Indra’s net amenable to seemingly endless patterns of interpretation that richly resonate to the soul yet appear to lack any clearly identifiable concrete referents. As such, like other postmodern disciplines, it generally resists the attempts of science to connect specific symbols with specific facts, yet at the same time the astrological language appears to open and reveal soul dimensions that are more than the ‘mere’ play of socially constructed imaginations projected upon an unknowable objective world.

In this sense, astrology avoids the most radical postmodern conclusion — that words, concepts, and texts refer endlessly to other words and texts lacking any ultimate reference to objective facts, universal truths, or the ‘way things really are.’ I would like to suggest that astrology is indeed, as Richard Tarnas has described it, the ‘philosopher’s stone,’ a metaphysical or metapsychological map completely friendly to postmodern ideas yet charting them within a larger and ‘perennial’ perspective (a la Schumacher, Smith, Wilber), one that embraces the premodern, modern, postmodern, and transpersonal dimensions, pointing beyond both the old absolutisms and the current radical relativism to a higher resolution. The astrological perspective, as well as the now general perspective of postmodernism, reveals the cultural and historical relativity of these paradigms or beliefs, although astrology identifies and maps the whole process in a way that transcends the particular linguistic cul-de-sac of contemporary critical thought by revealing a more inclusive and holistic archetypal structure.

Upon the basis of the generally agreed-on meanings of the four mutable principles and their archetypal correspondence to the essential features of the postmodern mind, a case can be made which not only deepens our understanding of the principles but, through astrology’s capacity to map postmodernism (in relation to other historical stages and consciousness structures) within a larger historical and developmental perspective, may establish the astrological mandala as an effective key to understanding the greater evolution and structure of consciousness.

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anemone Permalink Reply by anemone on December 8, 2007 at 7:19pm
Hello marmalade

I have been an avid, though amateur student of astrology for years. I have read Tarnas’ Cosmos and Psyche, and attended a few workshops given by him last year.

I’ve never heard anyone state a connection between astrology and postmodernism quite the way you have above. It is illuminating to me to read your post. A more typical analysis involving astrology, on one hand, and postmodernism on the other, usually involves some remark on how the former is steeped in archaic and mythical lore and projection while the latter dismisses all narrative as textual constructs.

I like the way you have pointed out the flexibility and multi-faceted dimensions inherent in both world-views.

In the last year, however, I have come to feel that as powerful a tool astrology may be for psychological analysis, involving both individuals and group dynamics, it is not such a powerful tool of analysis at the macro, sociocultural or sociopolitical level of analysis, for example in making a useful comment on the larger forces shaping foreign policies of various governments, or the way public opinion is formed in a given society. This may, of course, be more a symptom of astrology’s current marginalization as an epistemological tool. If there were to be any dialogue with other established disciplines it is quite possible that it should prove instrumentally useful.
Any ideas?
I will check out your Goddard post.

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marmalade Permalink Reply by marmalade on December 8, 2007 at 8:54pm
Hello anemone

Thanks for the response.

A: “I have been an avid, though amateur student of astrology for years. I have read Tarnas’ Cosmos and Psyche, and attended a few workshops given by him last year.”

You probably understand astrology and Tarnas better than I. For whatever reason, astrology never quite clicked together for me in the past.

A: “I’ve never heard anyone state a connection between astrology and postmodernism quite the way you have above. ”

As much as I wish I had written that, I can’t take credit for it. Below the link is entirely the words of Goddard. I should’ve made that clearer, but this forum doesn’t allow the way of quoting that I’m used to.

I agree with your assessment. As I said, Tarnas was the first writer to present astrology so that it felt deeply meaningful to me… such that I could connect with the symbolism. And Goddard has presented astrology and Tarnas in a way that I have a better grasp of the system as a whole and how it might relate to my life.

A: “In the last year, however, I have come to feel that as powerful a tool astrology may be for psychological analysis, involving both individuals and group dynamics, it is not such a powerful tool of analysis at the macro, sociocultural or sociopolitical level of analysis, for example in making a useful comment on the larger forces shaping foreign policies of various governments, or the way public opinion is formed in a given society.”

What happened in the last year that has changed your perspective?

Are you saying that you have doubts about whether Tarnas’ analysis of history is meaningful?

“Any ideas?”

Not yet. I just discovered Goddard and have only barely begun to read his work that I linked to in my previous post. I really haven’t a clue what all of this means. I’m merely a curious fellow and am over-joyed when I happen upon someone like Goddard. I feel that I’ve stumbled upon a treasure trove of insight.

I’m better at thinking out ideas when I have feedback, and so I’d be happy for whatever little nuggets you’d like to throw my way.

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Criticalness, Integralism, and Type

marmalade
This is in response to the thread titled ‘Should Integralists Storm The Religous Battlefield’.

I’ve been involved in a thread at IIDB, an atheist discussion board. Its a thread about Acharya’s theories about astrotheology which is related to comparative mythology, and Acharya has posted in response some. She has received much criticism and nitpicking which is common on atheist forums. She hasn’t taken it well and probably won’t post anymore in the thread or maybe even in the forum. Recently, the same thing happened with Earl Doherty who is another biblical scholar. He posted on IIDB for a long time, but now has declared he will never post there again.

I find it a bit annoying and I don’t know if I could ever entirely get used to this kind of behavior. However, not everyone there is like this, and I do enjoy forums where there are many intelligent and knowledgeable people. I have a few thoughts about harsh criticalness.

(1) I do think some people there could use an integral perspective. Critically challenging new theories is important for scholarship, but being nice is important for human relations. Also, I feel this critical attitude is narrow and often misses the point the central issue or the bigger picture. Disproving a single claim or piece of evidence doesn’t disprove a theory or discredit the entire scholarly credentials of the theorist. There are many ways to think about a theory, and criticism by itself often lacks insight and can miss the larger context.

Anyways, if actual scholars start avoiding such a forum, that would severely hamper open discourse. In what way is this actually being helpful?

A forum like IIDB may be a more extreme example of this attitude, but its far from unusual. Scholars such as Acharya and Doherty have also received plenty of harsh criticism from mainstream scholarship as well. Peer review tends to reinforce conventional opinions and discourages innovation. Any new theory is seen as suspect. Only the alternative views of people like Robert M. Price get some respect because they came to those views after already being established in the mainstream. Even so, Price’s ideas have received harsh criticism from some of the amateur scholars on the board. There is this attitude amongst some there that if they disagree with a theory, then they automatically dismiss it. Something is either true or false, and uncertainty or mere probability is never to be admitted.

It makes me understand why Wilber has been so committed to getting his work into academia.

(2) My experience at IIDB reminds me of my experience on an INTP forum. INTP types (and NT types in general) can be very combative and nitpicky. An INTP has Introverted Thinking as a dominant function which means Extraverted Feeling is their inferior. A less developed or less balanced INTP can really suck at relating well to other people, and this is multiplied when you get a group of NTs together. What INTPs are good at is looking for logical consistency and honing in on any discrepant details. Introverted Thinking is largely hidden as its turned inward and so its difficult for other types to see the internal standard they’re using to judge. All that is seen directly is their secondary function Extraverted Intuition which allows them to see all of the possibilities. In the case of nitpicking, Extraverted Intuition is serving Introverted Thinking and thus they relentlessly seek out all potential errors.

This is what an INTP is good at. They honestly feel that they’re being helpful and they are to an extent. But if they haven’t developed other aspects of themselves, this talent can be problematic for relating well.

Atheist forums tend to attract many INTPs partly because of an NT interest in computers and debate, partly because Introverts spend more time doing solitary activities such as web browsing, and partly because NPs(Ne) love to discuss ideas endlessly. So, quite probably most of the critical people on IIDB are INTPs or some NT type, but also possibly some INFPs trying to conform to an NT environment. On top of their possible personality types, many of them have spent their whole lives studying ancient texts and biblical studies. Its what they know and its what they’re good at. They feel so certain because they’ve dedicated their lives to it and so they’re personally invested in the conclusions they’ve come to.

I have become more used to personality styles different than mine. I’m much better than I used to be at relating well with those I conflict with or disagree with. I have tried to stay evenhanded in the IIDB thread and have been mostly successful. I’ve tried to redirect the discussion back to the core issue and away from nitpicking, but that has been less successful. I’ve observed Acharya in videos and other places on the web, and I’d guess she is an NF type like me which would explain why she doesn’t have a thick skin towards criticalness, and why she gets critical in return when she is emotionally worked up.

I’m an INFP and Extraverted Thinking is my inferior, and as such my judgment of criticalness is very biased. Criticalness really gets to me after a while, and it takes great awareness on my part not to get emotionally pulled into it. I’d rather discuss possibilities rather than debate details. I’d rather find where I agree with someone rather than look for reasons that the other person is wrong. But this is a typical NF attitude and so I realize that others are different.

If I understand why someone acts the way they do, then its easier for me to accept their behavior. There is a person on the INTP forum who always annoyed me. I couldn’t understand why he was accepted there even to the point of being a moderator. An INTP finally explained it to me in a way that I could understand. This guy wasn’t a psychologically healthy person, but he was psychologically disturbed in a typical INTP way. They accepted him because they could understand him. As I wasn’t an INTP, it didn’t matter that I didn’t get along with him on an INTP forum.

I see IIDB in a similar light. Some people there are not perfectly balanced people, but neither am I. However, they’ve found their niche in the world. They can be respected for being critical on an atheist board. So, why should I let it bother me. They’re only doing what they know how to do, and I admit that they do it well. Maybe such people serve a purpose in the grand scheme of things.

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marmalade Permalink Reply by marmalade on January 19, 2008 at 7:39am
I just came across a typology poll at IIDB.
http://iidb.infidels.org/vbb/showthread.php?t=132933

67% are NTs
23.35% are INTPs
37% are INTJs

20% are NFs
approximately equally divided between the four NF types
except less than 1% of ENFPs

12% are one of the 8 Sensation(S) types

So, why would an NT be so much more likely to belong to this kind of forum?
Are NT types more likely to be atheist?
Or are NT types more likely to want to debate about atheist views?

[QUOTE=ApostateAbe;5070973]I believe that the correlation between atheism and INTJ/INTP is not a trivial thing (I am an INTP).

[*]INTJ forum poll on religion: [url]http://intjforum.com/showthread.php?t=824[/url]
[*]INTP forum poll on religion: [url]http://forums.intpcentral.com/showthread.php?t=13802[/url]
[*]Christian forum poll on MBTI: [url]http://christianforums.com/t2564679&page=4[/url]

The Christian forum poll is less clear, since it neglects the E/I. It does at least indicate that the N types predominate. But the members of ChristianForums.com are split between NF and NT. INTJ/INTP are 43% at a max at ChristianForums.com, but here it is a whopping 60%. The polls at the INTJ forum and INTP forum are even more striking. Majority of both are atheist or agnostic.[/QUOTE]

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marmalade Permalink Reply by marmalade on January 19, 2008 at 8:27am
I was just thinking about how a higher percentage of Thinking types are male.
Accordingly, the majority of people on IIDB are probably male.

There is a reason this came to mind. I’ve suspected a higher percentage of people on Integral boards are NT. And I’ve heard it said several times that there are more males than females around this place which isn’t something I can personally verify. Also, there is way more heated debate here than on forums I belong to that have a majority of NF types.

So, what is the correlation between intellectuality, heated debate, atheism, NT personality types, and the male gender?

Why shouldn’t atheism and integralism appeal to SF females?

 

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marmalade Permalink Reply by marmalade on January 19, 2008 at 6:22pm
I was just at Richard Dawkins forum and came across a poll for gender.
http://richarddawkins.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=51&t=2716&s…

Males are 72% of the population there.
IIDB is the same kind of forum and so it would probably be similar.

I’m wondering how true this is for most people who are on the web.
I’m uncertain about what forums would attract more females… maybe spirituality/religious forums?

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marmalade Permalink Reply by marmalade on January 19, 2008 at 8:13am
I had two other observations of IIDB.

I did a search on Integral and came up with nothing. I did a search on Ken Wilber and only found a few comments in passing in the last several months. This is pretty significant when you consider that this is one of the more popular boards that attracts well-read intellectual types. This demonstrates how integral theory is still an extremely isolated field of study.

The other thing I noticed there seemed to cross the boundaries of thread topics. There is a heavy philosophical emphasis to the whole place with a distinct lack of much discussion of psychology. Spirituality gets talked about, but mostly just as philosophy. The philosophy emphasis creates a heavy focus on language. In every serious thread, the definitions or proper translation of words gets debated to a fine degree. Integral theorists love to argue about words, but the people on IIDB put integralists to shame in this area.

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marmalade Permalink Reply by marmalade on January 19, 2008 at 4:58pm
Chiron,
“After all, both sides fought on what they thought was the same battleground, but they were two totally different battlegrounds, on different levels.”

This is a good way to put it. I find this often happens in discussions. People not only are arguing for different perspectives, but they’re arguing from different perspectives. When you mix in all the factors that make up an individual(personality, moral and intellectual development, cultural background, etc) you can get a very mixed group of people in a discussion. I wish I knew how to bridge such differences, but I haven’t figured it out beyond trying to be more accepting.

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MetroPunk Permalink Reply by MetroPunk on January 21, 2008 at 1:40pm
the problem as i see there was exactly as you pegged in marmalade, people with different worldviews, diff levels, diff types. communication becomes difficult
an integral appproach would help (someone who can bridge the comm gap)

another problem is the nature of the concepts.
atheism is a reactionary confusion
and religion often is dogma
so two dogmatic and limited postions
limit the possible scope of discussion and possible agreement.
nature of the beastS

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Bill Permalink Reply by Bill on January 23, 2008 at 6:57pm
Well, something else to keep in mind, is that all human groups tend to have internal “policing” behaviors, and it’s common to see a kind of tribal ingrouping/outgrouping struggle happening with every group.

I can’t see I’ve ever seen a human group that didn’t practice this kind of internal policing, no matter how advanced or correct they claim to be..

So, the ‘criticalism’ you refer to isn’t just based in, for instance, personality types, or the nature of the ideas being discussed, or the educational backgrounds of the people discussing – it’s got a stronger, older base in ancient hominid group behaviors.

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marmalade Permalink Reply by marmalade on January 24, 2008 at 12:27am
That is a good point to bring up. I have observed this policing behavior on IIDB when newbies defend a position.
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Type and Development

marmalade
I’m fascinated by both horizontal and vertical models, but most integral discussions emphasize the vertical. What I’m curious about is how the whole picture becomes more complex when the two are combined.

Introduction to Volume 7 of the Collected Works
http://wilber.shambhala.com/html/books/cowokev7_intro.cfm/

As for types, see figure 3, which uses the enneagram as an example. What I have done here is take only one developmental module or stream (it can be anything–morals, cognition, defenses, etc.), and I have listed the eight or so levels or waves of development through which this particular stream will tend to unfold (using Spiral Dynamics as an example of the waves). At each level I have drawn the enneagram as an example of what might be called a horizontal typology, or a typology of the personality types that can exist at almost any vertical level of development. The point is that a person can be a particular type (using Jungian types, Myers-Briggs, the enneagram, etc.) at virtually any of the levels. Thus, if a person is, say, predominately enneagram type 5, then as they develop they would be purple 5, red 5, blue 5, and so on (again, not in a rigid linear fashion, but in a fluid and flowing mesh). [20]
Figure 3

And this can occur in any of the lines. For example, in the moral line, a person might be predominately enneagram type 7 at the green wave in the context of the workplace; under stress, the person might move to type 1 at the orange wave (or even blue wave); cognitively, the person might be type 4 at turquoise, and so on. Notice, however, that what the enneagram alone cannot spot is the shift in vertical levels; an orange 7 under stress might go to orange 1, but under real stress, the orange 7 will regress to blue, then purple. These are not just different types, but different levels of types. Again, by combining horizontal typologies with vertical typologies, we can make use of second-tier constructions for a more integral view.

For many radical feminists, male and female orientations also constitute a type. Based mostly on work by Carol Gilligan and Deborah Tannen, the idea is that the typical male orientation tends to be more agentic, autonomous, abstract, and independent, based on rights and justice; whereas the female orientation tends to be more permeable, relational, and feelingful, based on care and responsibility. Gilligan, recall, agrees that females proceed through three (or four) hierarchical stages of development, and these are essentially the same three (or four) hierarchical stages or waves through which males proceed (namely, preconventional, conventional, postconventional, and integrated).

The reason that many people, especially feminists, still incorrectly believe that Gilligan denied a female hierarchy of development is that Gilligan found that males tend to make judgments using ranking or hierarchical thinking, whereas women tend to make judgments using linking or relational thinking (what I summarize as agency and communion, respectively). But what many people overlooked is that Gilligan maintained that the female orientation itself proceeds through three (or four) hierarchical stages –from selfish to care to universal care to integrated. Thus, many feminists confused the idea that females tend not to think hierarchically with the idea that females do not develop hierarchically; the former is true, the latter is false, according to Gilligan herself. [21] (Why was Gilligan so widely misread and distorted in this area? Because the green meme eschews and marginalizes hierarchies in general, and thus it literally could not perceive her message accurately.)

As you will see in The Eye of Spirit , contained in this volume, I have summarized this research by saying that men and women both proceed through the same general waves of development, but men tend to do so with an emphasis on agency, women with an emphasis on communion.

This approach to gender development allows us to utilize the extensive contributions of developmental studies, but also supplement them with a keener understanding of how females evolve “in a different voice” through the great waves of existence. In the past, it was not uncommon to find orthodox psychological researchers defining females as “deficient males” (i.e., females “lack” logic, rationality, a sense of justice; they are even defined by “penis envy,” or desiring that which they lack). Nowadays it is not uncommon to find, especially among feminists, the reverse prejudice: males are defined as “deficient females” (i.e., males “lack” sensitivity, care, relational capacity, embodiment, etc.).

Well, we might say, a plague on both houses. With this more integral approach, we can trace development through the great waves and streams of existence, but also recognize that males and females might navigate that great River of Life using a different style, type, or voice. This means that we can still recognize the major waves of existence–which, in fact, are gender-neutral–but we must fully honor the validity of both styles of navigating those waves. [22]

Finally, a person at virtually any stage of development, in virtually any line, of virtually any type, can have an altered state or peak experience , including those that are called spiritual experiences, and this can have a profound effect on their consciousness and its development. Thus, the idea that spiritual experiences can only occur at higher stages is incorrect. However, in order for altered states to become permanent traits (or structures), they need to enter the stream of enduring development. [23]

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Andy Smith Permalink Reply by Andy Smith on January 9, 2008 at 7:04pm
“I’m fascinated by both horizontal and vertical models, but most integral discussions emphasize the vertical. What I’m curious about is how the whole picture becomes more complex when the two are combined.”

I won’t address the rest of your post right now, but there is a very simple answer to this opening statement. The vertical occurs through horizontal or what Wilber calls translational interactions. Molecules emerge through translational interactions of atoms, cells through translational interactions of molecules, tissues through cell interactions and so on, including societies emerging from translational interactions of individuals. At every level, emergence of the next higher level begins with translational interactions of holons at that level.

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marmalade Permalink Reply by marmalade on January 9, 2008 at 7:27pm
I wasn’t thinking about it in that way. The term ‘translational interactions’ sounds intriguing. I’d like to go more into it. Do you have any nice quotes or links where this term is explained further?
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Andy Smith Permalink Reply by Andy Smith on January 10, 2008 at 6:26pm
Just do a search in Integral Spirituality or any other Wilber book, you will find lots of references to translation. Your post, which I take it is a quote from Wilber, treats types as properties of individuals, but of course they are social properties as well, in fact, first and foremost social properties. Any type by any classification one cares to mention is basically a description of the way an individual interacts with other individuals, and even more, with society. These are translational interactions, the glue so to speak which holds societies together.
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marmalade Permalink Reply by marmalade on January 11, 2008 at 7:31pm
Everything below the link is pure Wilber.

I follow what you’re saying. The individual and the social are inseparable.

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marmalade Permalink Reply by marmalade on January 11, 2008 at 10:25pm
Wilber uses the Enneagram as his example. As a side note, I’ve heard a theory that the personality aspect of this system may have been borrowed from Jung, but I don’t know if this is true. I have see other correlations between the two systems also. However, the Enneagram doesn’t have much research behind it. Most Enneagram theories focus on it as a model of defense mechanisms. Whereas, the MBTI is looking at deeper cognitive structures that are largely inborn. Wilber shows how a person may have different Enneagram types in different situations depending on such things as which level of which line… but, theoretically, someone’s MBTI type should remain the same. I’d like to see how development over a lifetime influences how people test on the MBTI.

Here is a research paper that compares MBTI with the AMSP. I’m not familiar with the AMSP, but it says that it focuses on the propensity of people to change with situations. So, it seems comparable to how Wilber is presenting the Enneagram here.

http://www.typetalk.com/Articles/AMSP-MBTI-Research-Tucker.pdf

This paper doesn’t go into any developmental models, but the focus on changeability in the AMSP gives room for a developmental perspective. However, there are some theories in typology about development.

First off, a brief primer. There are 8 Jungian functions. According to some theorists(eg Beebe), all types use all functions, but simply use them in different ways. There is the matter of whether a type is used consciously or not and this relates to development, and there is a specific order that each type will likely develop each function. This is highly theoretical and I don’t know what research has been done on it. Another theory presents how each function itself develops which is equivalent to saying that each function represents a separate line of development. There is some correlation of MBTI with models of psychological development.

For instance, how the Judging functions(Thinking and Feeling) have much similarity with Gilligan’s work on gender differences and the hierarchy of development that either gender will tend to follow. Typology brings a slightly different slant to this. Statistics have shown that their is a slight preference of males for Thnking and females for Feeling. Also, Thinking males tend to have stronger Thinking preferences than Thinking females, and Feeling females tend to have stronger preference for Feeling than Feeling males.

However, this gender preference is only around 60-70%, and that leaves a good portion that doesn’t fit the social expectations. David Deidda recognizes that gender patterns are only general. He says that his advice for men doesn’t apply to less masculine men and does apply to more masculine women. As a Feeling guy, I don’t entirely resonate with his advice.

I’ve looked at Gilligan’s work before, but not lately. Going by the above quote of Wilber, it seems her description of gender also incorporates a Intuition function bias for males(ie abstraction). But research has shown that men are no more likely to be abstract than women. Its only been in recent time that our society has started to idealize the man who is capable of abstraction. So, I’m not sure about this part of this model.

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Integral and Types

Marmalade : Gaia Explorer  

Integral and Types

Marmalade said Jul 5, 2008, 5:42 AM:  

  I’ve looked around for information about types within integral theory, but I couldn’t find much of anything beyond some brief mentions.  I wonder why that is.  This came up in a discussion I was having recently with Balder.  I have an interest in integral and I have an interest in types.  How do they relate?  Is it possible to create an integral theory of types?I have my own thoughts on this matter, but let me hear what others have to say first.
Nickeson : Easy  

Re: Integral and Types

Nickeson said Jul 5, 2008, 11:19 AM:  

  Marmalade,
Thanks for starting the thread.The other day I referenced Stanley Fish and sparked a little debate. So I do so again in regard to a phrase he used that bears on typology: “the furniture of the mind.” He spoke briefly of its arrangements, perhaps its styles in the context of his disagreement with the liberal humanistic ideal that given the right arguments about the right facts, or the right inspiration, the right chemicals in the water, the right charismatic leadership, the perspectives of all the population in a culture or across cultures could be managed into greater and great integrated unity. He evidently thinks that far easier dreamed of than done because the furniture of our minds is fundamentally arranged in too many different patterns and styles. I have to agree. And I have to think this is more because of typological differences rather than transcendable and developmental lines and levels.It is no surprise to me that typology does not get much air time in Integral. I think there are several reasons:  1. The other day I came across a rare Integral forum discussion about types and it turned out that most of the participants were Introverted (I) and Intuitive (N). There was a tendency toward Feeling (F) and Perceiving (P) with a sprinkling of Thinking (T) and Judging (J). No surprise; the first time I stumbled into Integral Naked three years ago, I had to say, almost out loud, “These guys are all I-Ns.” (It was sort of easy to spot. I used to hang with the radical Transpersonal Psych. crowd in Santa Fe, NM, and they were all I-Ns. Intuitive people are sharp to spot possibilities and their temporal preference is the Future. Developmental lines and levels come easily for them. Hold this thought…  

2. The first time I stumbled into Integral Naked I had to say, almost out loud, “This is a just barely noticeable difference, a tiny tweak, on 160-year-old, standard, middle class, Euro-American liberal humanism.” (It was sort of easy to spot, I had published cultural critiques on that phenomenon as far back as 1969.) These are the believers who idealize the potential unification of perspectives that Fish and I find questionable. Hold this thought.  

3. Jungian personality typologies of the kind that Myers-Briggs, Dr. Keirsey, and Lenore Thomson deal with, tend toward horizontal analysis and throw a lot of confounding factors into a more vertical, developmental matrix like the W-C Lattice. For example, from a typological perspective, it is a real possibility that a moderately conscious I-N could be describing the spiritual wonders of such manifest givens as the Causal, the Subtle and the Non-Dual to a highly conscious E-S (Extroverted-Sensory) and get a response like “Been there, done that, wanna shoot some snooker?”  And of course the I-N will think at that point that the E-S is unconscious, uncaring and totally ignorant of the states the I-N perceives and relates to in the same manner as the E-S perceives and relates to her custom made cue stick. So from a developmental perspective, the I-N will never believe that the E-S has actually truely experienced those states, or really knows their literature, but finds it of trivial value when compared to a round of snooker– the best three out of five.  

Now you connect the dots.  

I think that it is interesting that beginning in the mid-70s, the Myers-Briggs Test and Dr. David Keirsey’s “personality sorter” became the Latest Big Thing in the personnel management consulting racket. And there are a lot of consultants still working with them. But you won’t find those consulting firms that have offices in the Integral Mall, central Integral Province, using these measurements. The consultants that bring us The Integral Review and The Integral Leadership Review and Integral Praxis, don’t do typologies. They do developmental theory and their sites are spilling over with what Richard Rorty called ‘universalist grandeur,” and progressive stepping stones to redemption, humane relationships and more favorable cost-benefit ratios.  

Another thought: Intuitive types, particularly introverted ones, have trouble with detail and discreet facts because they are the distracting trees that get in the way of perceiving the direction the forest is taking. For example, it is probably clear to many versed in typology that Hegel was an Intuitive thinker. And as Schiller pointed out once, Hegel never dealt with a solid fact in his entire career. And though they might not be quite so hard on the man, I understand there are critics who say Wilber’s view from 50,000 ft. doesn’t serve them any better and will never lead to any better specific results than Hegels’s. (That does not mean one should lose faith in the nuts and bolts achievements of Integral’s parent stock, liberal humanism.)  

You asked about the possibilities for the development of an Integral theory of types. I doubt such a possibility could exist.  I think its more probable to put forward a typological theory of Integral, the systems would be more compatible for moving in that direction.  

Marmalade : Gaia Child  

Re: Integral and Types

Marmalade said Jul 5, 2008, 5:14 PM:  

  Nickeson,“furniture of the mind” – Thats an awesome phrase.I can see the challenge this creates, and part of me agrees with you.  It does seem there is no way of getting around the endless variances that make individuals unique.  That was why I was wondering about an integral theory of typology.  If we could find overarching patterns amidst all the differences, then the furniture could be arranged in an orderly fashion.  lol   A “typological theory of Integral” sounds good to me.  What would that be?  Would this be related to the differences between a Theory of Everything(TOE) vs a Theory for Anything(TFA)?  

1. This is part of my interest in types.  The predominant type of a group of people says a lot.  BTW how about linking to that “ rare Integral forum discussion about types”.  

2. I’d like to hear more about your views on the “160-year-old, standard, middle class, Euro-American liberal humanism.”  

3. I completely get what you mean by the confounding factors issue.  I’d really like to understand this further in terms of the integral community.  

I have some things I want to add, but I’m about to go somewhere.  

Later,
Marmalade  

Marmalade : Gaia Explorer  

Re: Integral and Types

Marmalade said Jul 5, 2008, 7:51 PM:  

  1. The other day I came across a rare Integral forum discussion about types and it turned out that most of the participants were Introverted (I) and Intuitive (N). There was a tendency toward Feeling (F) and Perceiving (P) with a sprinkling of Thinking (T) and Judging (J). No surprise; the first time I stumbled into Integral Naked three years ago, I had to say, almost out loud, “These guys are all I-Ns.”I don’t know if you remember, but I test as an INFP.  I’ve spoken before about the major difficulties NFs and NTs can have in communicating especially when it comes to intellectual discussions.  This is important to consider as I’ve had a strong suspicion for some time that most integralsts are NTs.  As fo Introversion and iNtuition, I’d say you find high percentages of those all over the web, but maybe its especially emphasized in an integral forum.On a different note, I’m not sure why Wilber speaks about the Ennagram the most.  Actually, I do understand.  The Ennagram has its roots in a spiritual tradition and so fits in with the spiritual vision of integral theory.   The problem with this is that the Ennagram isn’t a scientifically accepted theory.  MBTI has had lots of research to back it up, and it has strong correlations with the academic research into personality traits(FFM, Big 5, etc).  As the MBTI and FFM are based on scientific research, I think they would be better systems for integralists to focus on.  

In saying this, I’m not dismissing the Ennagram.  I’m just saying its a totally different type of system.  We need to differentiate between different typology theories.  

One other thing is that integralists might not be aware that many typology systems include development.  So, it shouldn’t be so difficult to integrate to some extent.  For instance, the definitions of Jungian Thinking and Feeling fit closely with the gender studies that integralists are already familiar with.  

Blessings,
Marmalade  

Balder : Kosmonaut  

Re: Integral and Types

Balder said Jul 5, 2008, 7:57 PM:  

  Hi, Marmalade,Just a quick note for the moment – Wilber doesn’t talk about the Enneagram the most.  I mentioned on your blog that I have used it more than other typologies, since it is the one I am most familiar with (I do Diamond Approach work and DA uses the Enneagram), but it is not something that I’ve heard Wilber mention very often.  Usually, he talks about types only in a rather general way, mostly referring to masculine and feminine types by way of illustration. I’m glad you started this thread and look forward to participating – as well as to learning more about other typological systems from you or others.  Best wishes,  

B.  

Marmalade : Gaia Explorer  

Re: Integral and Types

Marmalade said Jul 6, 2008, 3:11 AM:  

  Balder,I wasn’t directly referring to any of your comments.  When I said that Wilber talks about the Ennagram the most, I was referring to the only example that I’m aware of where Wilber went into some detail about types and he used the Ennagram to illustrate his point.  You are correct that gender is the type that Wilber refers to the most.  But gender isn’t the exactly the same kind of types sytem as Myers-Briggs or Ennagram.  I should’ve been more clear as I was thinking of types in a more narrow sense when I made that statement.  Blessings,
Marmalade  
Marmalade : Gaia Explorer  

Re: Integral and Types

Marmalade said Jul 6, 2008, 5:40 AM:  

  I’ve been reading the book The Trickster and the Paranormal by George P. Hansen.  He goes into some detail about the ideas of the psychiatrist Ernest Hartmann who wrote the book Boundaries in the Mind.pp 48-49
“Thick-boundary people strike one as solid, well organized, well defended, and even rigid and armored.  Thin-boundary types tend to be open, unguarded, and undefended in several psychological senses.  Women tend to have thinner boundaries than men, and children thinner than adults.  People with thin boundaries tend to have higher hypnotic ability, greater dream recall, and are more lkely to have lucid dreams.  People with thick boundaries stay with one thought until its completion; whereas those with thin boundaries show greater fluidity, and their thoughts branch from one to another.  People with very thin boundaries report more symptoms of illness; however, compared with thick-boundary types, they are able to exert more control over the autonomic nervous system and can produe greater changes in skin temperature when thinking of hot or cold situations.  Thin-boundary persons are more prone to synesthesia, blending of the senses (e.g., seeing colors when certain sounds are heard).  Differences are found in occupations as well.  Middle managers in large corporations tend to have thick boundaries, and artists, writers and musicians tend to have thinner ones.  People with thick boundaries tend to be in stable , long-term marriages; whereas thin types are more likely to be, or have been, divorced or separated.”The author goes on to say that thin-boundary types tend to report more unusual experiences including psychic experiences.  He then lists the correlations between thin-boundary types and the traits of the Trickster archetype (as described in Jean Shinoda Bolen’s book Gods in Everyman).  Archetypes in general fit in with this discussion of types.  

I was thinking of this particular passage because of discussions elsewhere.  Obviously, many new agers are thin-boundary types.  The beliefs of the new ager make no sense to the more skeptically-minded because skeptics are probably most often thick-boundary types.  Skeptics don’t realize that its not just an issue of belief but an issue of experience.  Both the skeptic and the new ager trust their experience, but they simply have different kinds of experience.  

Blessings,
Marmalade  

Nickeson : Easy  

Re: Integral and Types

Nickeson said Jul 6, 2008, 12:30 PM:  

  Marmalade,I don’t have a lot of time, thus, briefly:1) I’ve lost sight of the link to the “rare integral based site/forum” but I think it was one of the Gaia conglomerate.  2) The 160-year-old tradition of E-A liberal humanism traces back to the American Transcendentalists and now resides in what is called the Cultural Creatives, a term coined by a management consultant (of all people) who seems to think that only now have those in this tradition become a large enough bloc to having an effect, but if he had just spent a day or two with a comprehensive American History book he would have found out that people of this persuasion were largely responsible for: the end of the American era of slavery, Prohibition, the introduction of sanitation and public health into local and state governments, pure food and drug laws, and the implementation of public based social service programs. The fact that the Native American population was not entirely eradicated in the 19th Century is largely due to this tradition.  

3) Not only does typology throw a lot of confusion into a system like developmental studies, it tends to confound itself except when broadly applied. There are just too many variables to make individual applications anything stronger than tendencies that might be a little more concrete if they were subjected to longitudinal studies not geared to taking tests but making discreet, everyday choices. Of course the same can be said of developmental theories.  

4) I think Bolen’s two books on Everyman, and Everywoman are good resources, particularly for clinical work, but the best literature on Jungian types is still Jung’s Psychological Types.  

Marmalade : Gaia Child  

Re: Integral and Types

Marmalade said Jul 6, 2008, 10:28 PM:  

  I’d like to note one common theme here.  Gender is a very important type.  It broadly relates to many different theories.  Just in this thread I’ve noted how both Myers-Briggs personality types and Hartman’s boundary types have a gender component.  I’d be curious to know if there is any gender preference in the Enneagram.
Marmalade : Gaia Explorer  

Re: Integral and Types

Marmalade said Jul 6, 2008, 10:37 PM:  

  Criticalness, Integralism, and Type

This is in response to the thread titled ‘Should Integralists Storm The Religous Battlefield’.I’ve been involved in a thread at IIDB, an atheist discussion board. Its a thread about Acharya’s theories about astrotheology which is related to comparative mythology, and Acharya has posted in response some. She has received much criticism and nitpicking which is common on atheist forums. She hasn’t taken it well and probably won’t post anymore in the thread or maybe even in the forum. Recently, the same thing happened with Earl Doherty who is another biblical scholar. He posted on IIDB for a long time, but now has declared he will never post there again.I find it a bit annoying and I don’t know if I could ever entirely get used to this kind of behavior. However, not everyone there is like this, and I do enjoy forums where there are many intelligent and knowledgeable people. I have a few thoughts about harsh criticalness.  (1) I do think some people there could use an integral perspective. Critically challenging new theories is important for scholarship, but being nice is important for human relations. Also, I feel this critical attitude is narrow and often misses the point the central issue or the bigger picture. Disproving a single claim or piece of evidence doesn’t disprove a theory or discredit the entire scholarly credentials of the theorist. There are many ways to think about a theory, and criticism by itself often lacks insight and can miss the larger context.  

Anyways, if actual scholars start avoiding such a forum, that would severely hamper open discourse. In what way is this actually being helpful?  

A forum like IIDB may be a more extreme example of this attitude, but its far from unusual. Scholars such as Acharya and Doherty have also received plenty of harsh criticism from mainstream scholarship as well. Peer review tends to reinforce conventional opinions and discourages innovation. Any new theory is seen as suspect. Only the alternative views of people like Robert M. Price get some respect because they came to those views after already being established in the mainstream. Even so, Price’s ideas have received harsh criticism from some of the amateur scholars on the board. There is this attitude amongst some there that if they disagree with a theory, then they automatically dismiss it. Something is either true or false, and uncertainty or mere probability is never to be admitted.  

It makes me understand why Wilber has been so committed to getting his work into academia.  

(2) My experience at IIDB reminds me of my experience on an INTP forum. INTP types(and NT types in general) can be very combattive and nitpicky. An INTP has Introverted Thinking as a dominant function which means Extraverted Feeling is their inferior. A less developed or less balanced INTP can really suck at relating well to other people, and this is multiplied when you get a group of NTs together. What INTPs are good at is looking for logical consistency and honing in on any discrepant details. Introverted Thinking is largely hidden as its turned inward and so its difficult for other types to see the internal standard they’re using to judge. All that is seen directly is their secondary function Extraverted Intuition which allows them to see all of the possibilities. In the case of nitpicking, Extraverted Intuition is serving Introverted Thinking and thus they relentlessly seek out all potential errors.  

This is what an INTP is good at. They honestly feel that they’re being helpful and they are to an extent. But if they haven’t developed other aspects of themselves, this talent can be problematic for relating well.  

Atheist forums tend to attract many INTPs partly because of an NT interest in computers and debate, partly because Introverts spend more time doing solitary activities such as web browsing, and partly because NPs(Ne) love to discuss ideas endlessly. So, quite probably most of the critical people on IIDB are INTPs or some NT type, but also possibly some INFPs trying to conform to an NT environment. On top of their possible personality types, many of them have spent their whole lives studying ancient texts and biblical studies. Its what they know and its what they’re good at. They feel so certain because they’ve dedicated their lives to it and so they’re personally invested in the conclusions they’ve come to.  

I have become more used to personality styles different than mine. I’m much better than I used to be at relating well with those I conflict with or disagree with. I have tried to stay evenhanded in the IIDB thread and have been mostly successful. I’ve tried to redirect the discussion back to the core issue and away from nitpicking, but that has been less successful. I’ve observed Acharya in videos and other places on the web, and I’d guess she is an NF type like me which would explain why she doesn’t have a thick skin towards criticalness, and why she gets critical in return when she is emotionally worked up.  

I’m an INFP and Extraverted Thinking is my inferior, and as such my judgment of criticalness is very biased. Criticalness really gets to me after a while, and it takes great awareness on my part not to get emotionally pulled into it. I’d rather discuss possibilities rather than debate details. I’d rather find where I agree with someone rather than look for reasons that the other person is wrong. But this is a typical NF attitude and so I realize that others are different.  

If I understand why someone acts the way they do, then its easier for me to accept their behavior. There is a person on the INTP forum who always annoyed me. I couldn’t understand why he was accepted there even to the point of being a moderator. An INTP finally explained it to me in a way that I could understand. This guy wasn’t a psychologically healthy person, but he was psychologically disturbed in a typical INTP way. They accepted him because they could understand him. As I wasn’t an INTP, it didn’t matter that I didn’t get along with him on an INTP forum.  

I see IIDB in a similar light. Some people there are not perfectly balanced people, but neither am I. However, they’ve found their niche in the world. They can be respected for being critical on an atheist board. So, why should I let it bother me. They’re only doing what they know how to do, and I admit that they do it well. Maybe such people serve a purpose in the grand scheme of things.  

I just came across a typology poll at IIDB.
http://iidb.infidels.org/vbb/showthread.php?t=132933  

67% are NTs
23.35% are INTPs
37% are INTJs  

20% are NFs
approximately equally divided between the four NF types
except less than 1% of ENFPs  

12% are one of the 8 Sensation(S) types  

So, why would an NT be so much more likely to belong to this kind of forum?
Are NT types more likely to be atheist?
Or are NT types more likely to want to debate about atheist views?  

[QUOTE=ApostateAbe;5070973]I believe that the correlation between atheism and INTJ/INTP is not a trivial thing (I am an INTP).  

[*]INTJ forum poll on religion: [url]http://intjforum.com/showthread.php?t=824[/url]
[*]INTP forum poll on religion: [url]http://forums.intpcentral.com/showthread.php?t=13802[/url]
[*]Christian forum poll on MBTI: [url]http://christianforums.com/t2564679&page=4[/url]  

The Christian forum poll is less clear, since it neglects the E/I. It does at least indicate that the N types predominate. But the members of ChristianForums.com are split between NF and NT. INTJ/INTP are 43% at a max at ChristianForums.com, but here it is a whopping 60%. The polls at the INTJ forum and INTP forum are even more striking. Majority of both are atheist or agnostic.[/QUOTE]  

I was just thinking about how a higher percentage of Thinking types are male.
Accordingly, the majority of people on IIDB are probably male.  

There is a reason this came to mind. I’ve suspected a higher percentage of people on Integral boards are NT. And I’ve heard it said several times that there are more males than females around this place which isn’t something I can personally verify. Also, there is way more heated debate here than on forums I belong to that have a majority of NF types.  

So, what is the correlation between intellectuality, heated debate, atheism, NT personality types, and the male gender?  

Why shouldn’t atheism and integralism appeal to SF females?  

I was just at Richard Dawkins forum and came across a poll for gender.
http://richarddawkins.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=51&t=2716&start=75  

Males are 72% of the population there.
IIDB is the same kind of forum and so it would probably be similar.  

I’m wondering how true this is for most people who are on the web.
I’m uncertain about what forums would attract more females… maybe spirituality/religious forums?  

Marmalade : Gaia Explorer  

Re: Integral and Types

Marmalade said Jul 6, 2008, 10:52 PM:  

  Type and DevelopmentI’m fascinated by both horizontal and vertical models, but most integral discussions emphasize the vertical. What I’m curious about is how the whole picture becomes more complex when the two are combined.  Introduction to Volume 7 of the Collected Works
http://wilber.shambhala.com/html/books/cowokev7_intro.cfm/  

As for types, see figure 3, which uses the enneagram as an example. What I have done here is take only one developmental module or stream (it can be anything–morals, cognition, defenses, etc.), and I have listed the eight or so levels or waves of development through which this particular stream will tend to unfold (using Spiral Dynamics as an example of the waves). At each level I have drawn the enneagram as an example of what might be called a horizontal typology, or a typology of the personality types that can exist at almost any vertical level of development. The point is that a person can be a particular type (using Jungian types, Myers-Briggs, the enneagram, etc.) at virtually any of the levels. Thus, if a person is, say, predominately enneagram type 5, then as they develop they would be purple 5, red 5, blue 5, and so on (again, not in a rigid linear fashion, but in a fluid and flowing mesh). [20]
Figure 3

 

   

And this can occur in any of the lines. For example, in the moral line, a person might be predominately enneagram type 7 at the green wave in the context of the workplace; under stress, the person might move to type 1 at the orange wave (or even blue wave); cognitively, the person might be type 4 at turquoise, and so on. Notice, however, that what the enneagram alone cannot spot is the shift in vertical levels; an orange 7 under stress might go to orange 1, but under real stress, the orange 7 will regress to blue, then purple. These are not just different types, but different levels of types. Again, by combining horizontal typologies with vertical typologies, we can make use of second-tier constructions for a more integral view.  

For many radical feminists, male and female orientations also constitute a type. Based mostly on work by Carol Gilligan and Deborah Tannen, the idea is that the typical male orientation tends to be more agentic, autonomous, abstract, and independent, based on rights and justice; whereas the female orientation tends to be more permeable, relational, and feelingful, based on care and responsibility. Gilligan, recall, agrees that females proceed through three (or four) hierarchical stages of development, and these are essentially the same three (or four) hierarchical stages or waves through which males proceed (namely, preconventional, conventional, postconventional, and integrated).  

The reason that many people, especially feminists, still incorrectly believe that Gilligan denied a female hierarchy of development is that Gilligan found that males tend to make judgments using ranking or hierarchical thinking, whereas women tend to make judgments using linking or relational thinking (what I summarize as agency and communion, respectively). But what many people overlooked is that Gilligan maintained that the female orientation itself proceeds through three (or four) hierarchical stages –from selfish to care to universal care to integrated. Thus, many feminists confused the idea that females tend not to think hierarchically with the idea that females do not develop hierarchically; the former is true, the latter is false, according to Gilligan herself. [21] (Why was Gilligan so widely misread and distorted in this area? Because the green meme eschews and marginalizes hierarchies in general, and thus it literally could not perceive her message accurately.)  

As you will see in The Eye of Spirit , contained in this volume, I have summarized this research by saying that men and women both proceed through the same general waves of development, but men tend to do so with an emphasis on agency, women with an emphasis on communion.  

This approach to gender development allows us to utilize the extensive contributions of developmental studies, but also supplement them with a keener understanding of how females evolve “in a different voice” through the great waves of existence. In the past, it was not uncommon to find orthodox psychological researchers defining females as “deficient males” (i.e., females “lack” logic, rationality, a sense of justice; they are even defined by “penis envy,” or desiring that which they lack). Nowadays it is not uncommon to find, especially among feminists, the reverse prejudice: males are defined as “deficient females” (i.e., males “lack” sensitivity, care, relational capacity, embodiment, etc.).  

Well, we might say, a plague on both houses. With this more integral approach, we can trace development through the great waves and streams of existence, but also recognize that males and females might navigate that great River of Life using a different style, type, or voice. This means that we can still recognize the major waves of existence–which, in fact, are gender-neutral–but we must fully honor the validity of both styles of navigating those waves. [22]  

Finally, a person at virtually any stage of development, in virtually any line, of virtually any type, can have an altered state or peak experience , including those that are called spiritual experiences, and this can have a profound effect on their consciousness and its development. Thus, the idea that spiritual experiences can only occur at higher stages is incorrect. However, in order for altered states to become permanent traits (or structures), they need to enter the stream of enduring development. [23]  

Wilber uses the Enneagram as his example. As a side note, I’ve heard a theory that the personality aspect of this system may have been borrowed from Jung, but I don’t know if this is true. I have see other correlations between the two systems also. However, the Enneagram doesn’t have much research behind it. Most Enneagram theories focus on it as a model of defense mechanisms. Whereas, the MBTI is looking at deeper cognitive structures that are largely inborn. Wilber shows how a person may have different Enneagram types in different situations depending on such things as which level of which line… but, theoretically, someone’s MBTI type should remain the same. I’d like to see how development over a lifetime influences how people test on the MBTI.  

Here is a research paper that compares MBTI with the AMSP. I’m not familiar with the AMSP, but it says that it focuses on the propensity of people to change with situations. So, it seems comparable to how Wilber is presenting the Enneagram here.  

http://www.typetalk.com/Articles/AMSP-MBTI-Research-Tucker.pdf  

This paper doesn’t go into any developmental models, but the focus on changeability in the AMSP gives room for a developmental perspective. However, there are some theories in typology about development.  

First off, a brief primer. There are 8 Jungian functions. According to some theorists(eg Beebe), all types use all functions, but simply use them in different ways. There is the matter of whether a type is used consciously or not and this relates to development, and there is a specific order that each type will likely develop each function. This is highly theoretical and I don’t know what research has been done on it. Another theory presents how each function itself develops which is equivalent to saying that each function represents a separate line of development. There is some correlation of MBTI with models of psychological development.  

For instance, how the Judging functions(Thinking and Feeling) have much similarity with Gilligan’s work on gender differences and the hierarchy of development that either gender will tend to follow. Typology brings a slightly different slant to this. Statistics have shown that their is a slight preference of males for Thnking and females for Feeling. Also, Thinking males tend to have stronger Thinking preferences than Thinking females, and Feeling females tend to have stronger preference for Feeling than Feeling males.  

However, this gender preference is only around 60-70%, and that leaves a good portion that doesn’t fit the social expectations. David Deidda recognizes that gender patterns are only general. He says that his advice for men doesn’t apply to less masculine men and does apply to more masculine women. As a Feeling guy, I don’t entirely resonate with his advice.  

I’ve looked at Gilligan’s work before, but not lately. Going by the above quote of Wilber, it seems her description of gender also incorporates a Intuition function bias for males(ie abstraction). But research has shown that men are no more likely to be abstract than women. Its only been in recent time that our society has started to idealize the man who is capable of abstraction. So, I’m not sure about this part of this model.  

Marmalade : Gaia Child  

Re: Integral and Types

Marmalade said Jul 6, 2008, 11:07 PM:  

  I had a hard time getting into the thread Translation versus Transformation.  But I’m reminded of this topic because translation came up in my thread Type and Development. Reply by Andy Smith  

“I’m fascinated by both horizontal and vertical models, but most integral discussions emphasize the vertical. What I’m curious about is how the whole picture becomes more complex when the two are combined.”I won’t address the rest of your post right now, but there is a very simple answer to this opening statement. The vertical occurs through horizontal or what Wilber calls translational interactions. Molecules emerge through translational interactions of atoms, cells through translational interactions of molecules, tissues through cell interactions and so on, including societies emerging from translational interactions of individuals. At every level, emergence of the next higher level begins with translational interactions of holons at that level.  Your post, which I take it is a quote from Wilber, treats types as properties of individuals, but of course they are social properties as well, in fact, first and foremost social properties. Any type by any classification one cares to mention is basically a description of the way an individual interacts with other individuals, and even more, with society. These are translational interactions, the glue so to speak which holds societies together.  

 

Marmalade : Gaia Child  

Re: Integral and Types

Marmalade said Jul 6, 2008, 11:16 PM:  

  From my comments in my recent blog Integral, the Paleolithic, and the LIminal.BTW there is a particular theorist within the typology field who interests me the most.  Her name is Lenore Thomson.  She wrote the book Personality Type: An Owner’s Manual, and there is a wiki about her work.  Her view of typology touches upon my own thoughts about a TFA.  Basically, a TFA to me is a perspective of perspectives.  Some relevant pages from the wiki:  Rhetorical Stances  

Beyond Personality  

Philosophical Exegesis  

Marmalade : Gaia Child  

Re: Integral and Types

Marmalade said Jul 6, 2008, 11:56 PM:  

  There is a thread I started on a type forum.  I was speculating about the differences between NT types and NF types in terms of how they’d relate to theorizing.  Here are some tentative conclusions I came to:What is communicated?
The dominant is what is literally communicated especially for an Extravert, but for an Introvert the way of communicating(ie auxiliary) is part of what is communicated. The tertiary assists what is being communicated. Possibly, the inferior helps to clarify the message of the dominant even if only by simple contrast.  Why is it communicated?
I’d partly say that once again the dominant, but as communication is an external event so maybe the motivation might be dealt w/ using the Extraverted function. The functional pairings of the first two preferences would create the essence of the motivation.  

A theory is ultimately a conclusion and so would primarily use the Judging function. Those w/ Extraverted Judging functions would be the most interested in a clear theory. Those w/ Introverted Judging may or may not be as interested in an external conclusion, but probably have an internal one. Even if they felt certain inside, they may feel uncertain of what they express or what others express. Ne as auxiliary would particularly tends towards endless speculating w/o ever coming to a final theory.  

Let me break this down(partly based on Lenore Thomson’s ideas):  

NF: understanding subjective experience
NT: understanding objective reality  

NP: creative, non-linear, expanding possibilities
NJ: similar to NP but more focused and grounded, and more clear ideas  

F: lateral thinking, theories about subjects, collaborative discussion
T: categorical thinking, theories about objects, competitive discussion  

IP: direct experience, underlying patterns
IJ: predictable reference points in world, represented experience
EP: direct experience, improvising
EJ: rational predictability, take in more info only when necessary  

Marmalade : Gaia Explorer  

Re: Integral and Types

Marmalade said Jul 6, 2008, 11:59 PM:  

  In case anyone was wondering, my posting lots of info in this thread is an example of Extraverted Intuition.  🙂
Nickeson : Easy  

Re: Integral and Types

Nickeson said Jul 7, 2008, 11:45 AM:  

  Marmalade,So, you’ve been busy.  From what I have read from Andy Smith, a critic of Wilber, and Wilber, a critic of Smith, I conclude they both tend to be structuralists. Both seem to discount types and subordinate them to their own favorite transcendents. Do you think that Ns are particularly structuralist or transcendentalist? Do you think there is anything social, or spiritual that transcends your own being?  

Your statistics are fascinating, but not surprising. This is why on these boards 99.63% of all topics involve “I think” or “she/he thinks” or “they think,” and only 0.39% involve “I etc. did/do.”  

Here are some things “doing” and “did” that might have a bearing on types:  

1) In that part of my developmental process (mid-teens) when I started doing important things that would define me as an adult, among them were: driving fast cars over long distances, hitchhiking to unknown destinations (when without a car), striking lefty leaning revolutionary postures, attracting interesting and beautiful women, avoiding educational institutions, studying the aesthetics of the well turned phrase, and having mind-bending, ecstatic mystical experiences (unbidden, drug free).  

2) In that part of my development process (mid-childhood, 11-ish) when spirituality and religion became real enough to be seriously considered for “truth,” I seriously considered them long enough (a few hours) for me to conclude they were no longer worthy of serious consideration. The whole subject was just beside all the valuable points of my life. So when the mystical revelations of Cosmic Wholeness began to show up a few years later I did enough research to find out that some people thought these states had something to do with Spirit (a.k.a. God). I did not.  My hubris told me that Spiritual and Godly considerations were for less-advantaged folks than me. (There have been times when I might have momentarily consider myself either an atheist, or an agnositic or maybe even a believer. But that eventually matured into a position of being reconciled to not knowing and not caring enough to figure it out. An example is that until you mentioned it I had never heard of IIDB, so I googled and dropped by and thought, “this is really dull…”)  

3.) In my late 20s and early 30s, the mystical experiences of cosmic integrated unity, the apprehensions of the “divine” omniscient state, became more and more profound and began to color all my other perceptions. By this time I was one of the leading (investigative) journalistic experts on Native American legal and political issues in the USA, and beginning a career as a private legal investigator. Under fairly heavy psychological pressure as a result of these visions I made the decision to investigate for evidence that an overarching “really real,” integral and unifying principle existed. From my experience I had learned that theory was little more than insubstantial words, blue smoke and mirrors. Law, for example is the theory that attempts (poorly) to regulate the present and future by regulating (poorly) perceptions and interpretations of past facts. Facts are created by what people do. The rule of thumb for lawyers is that one never argues the law unless a really bad circumstantial case prohibits them from arguing the facts. So I went out to find the facts of this matter–are there facts here on the ground that show beyond a shadow of a doubt that there is an overarching, really real, unifying principle. I spent about five years at it. I took it seriously, I had to if I was going to maintain my reputation as a highly skilled investigator, and hope for any credibility in writing the obviously best-selling, revelatory book that would follow a positive conclusion.  

4. Along the way, quite by accident, I stumbled across the writings of Carl Jung that sparked: a) my first more than passing interest in psychology; b) an interest in psychological types; c) an 18-month period in which I began dreaming three or four “big” dreams a week. Also quite by accident, I began study of Taoism and the benefits of contemplative practices particularly those that developed and enhanced phenomenological awareness, internally and externally. (Both of these contributed to my investigation and resulted in a continuing 31-year-old dream journal and meditation habit.)  

5. At the end of the five years  I had not found one single mote of irrefutable evidence for the really real unifying principle that I, as a reputable, self-respecting investigator, would even consider taking to my client/attorney with the expectation that they would put it to a jury. There went the dream of fame, fortune and beautiful lovers that would accrue from writing that book. The best thing I could come up with was a theory lifted out of Jung: the visions of the divine unification-through-omniscience Hoo-Ha were a self-reflecting glance at, and projection of, the perceptual organizing functions of my mind, a satisfying conclusion in that it tended to confirm rather than diminish hubris. (One of the reasons why I tend not to take Wilber all that seriously is that I have found no evidence in his writing to show that he ever seriously considered or researched the possibility that AQAL might be a manual and map for the form and functions of his psyche and nothing more.)  

6. Early in 2005, while waiting a week or so for a client couple to finalize design and budget approval for a proposed sculpture, I googled “enlightenment” and got some Andrew Cohen hits that lead me to Wilber-land. I studied up on his latest (I hadn’t read any of Wilber since about 1989) and wrote my first lengthy Integral Naked post that proposed–based on the findings of my own search as a bad example–and the fact that Wilber had managed it (good example) that most anyone with a few years in a liberal arts school and a facility for words, blue smoke and mirrors could undertake the development of a Unified Field Theory for the Human Condition if not Everything itself.  And I urged folks to not worry in the least about their theory being right or wrong because that’s not the point. The point is to publish an interesting book, make a little money and attract beautiful lovers. I should have pointed out then, and do so now, that the chances for one’s success will be enhanced if they are iNtuitive, preferably Introverted iNtuitive. Part of the reason my effort failed was that I went about my grand search in the way I tested out on the typology scales: ESFP. So I make my money these days doing art. And as for beautiful lovers? I’ve got mine, Jack.  

theurj : dancer  

Re: Integral and Types

theurj said Jul 7, 2008, 2:03 PM:  

  Nickeson: I see you’re a blacksmith-artist. One of my New Mexico dancing associates, Ward Brinegar, is also into this type of art. See his site at this link.
Balder : Kosmonaut  

Re: Integral and Types

Balder said Jul 7, 2008, 2:19 PM:  

  Thanks for providing that link, Nickeson.  I loved having a chance to see your work – and to see you at work.  The railings you’ve wrought strike me as similar to you in spirit:  strong and unruly, with a graceful flair.
Nickeson : Easy  

Re: Integral and Types

Nickeson said Jul 7, 2008, 2:32 PM:  

  Edward,
Ward is a friend of mine, though I haven’t seen him for years. Last time I heard he was living broken-hearted in Albuquerque.  I learned the art in Santa Fe, spent eight years doing it there. I can see by his web site that he is doing good work and doing well. This is really good to know.Balder, thanks for the kind words.  S.  

p.s. I just remembered that I wrote a piece here on my other blog that goes directly to this typological difference thing. (Part of it has been excerpted to the Kabiri site.)  

theurj : dancer  

Re: Integral and Types

theurj said Jul 7, 2008, 5:03 PM:  

  Ward has been in SF for many years, living and working. I know he got a divorce years ago but he’s gone through a number of girlfriends since then. Not sure of his current love life status. I see him once a year at the Albuquerque Dance Fiesta, the next of which is at the end of September. I’ll try to remember to say hello for you. Or you could do so yourself at his website and tell him I referred you.
Marmalade : Gaia Explorer  

Re: Integral and Types

Marmalade said Jul 7, 2008, 3:12 PM:  

  Nickeson,Nice iron work.  I had a great interest in art growing up, but as an NP I was more interested in the creative possibilities than the finished product.  🙂  Do you think that Ns are particularly structuralist or transcendentalist?  

I wouldn’t think Ns would particularly be structuralist as I’d think that might have more to do with whether the person was Judging… to put it simply, whether they seek out conclusion.  I would think, though, that Ns are particularly transcendentalist as N is about abstraction, imagination, and possibilities.  Ns look past the obvious data of physical experience, but also Ns are less satisfied with the world as it is because they’re so capable of seeing how the world could be otherwise.  

Do you think there is anything social, or spiritual that transcends your own being?

Going by the gist of your question, I’d answer in the affirmative.  But I don’t think of it exactly as transcending.  That reality isn’t based on isolated individuals feels like a basic immanent experiential truth to me.  However, as an INFP, N (Extraverted Intuition) is my secondary function.  My direct sense of reality has to do with Fi (Introverted Feeling).  

Your statistics are fascinating, but not surprising.  

They didn’t surprise me either. Based on type theory and on personal experience, it was what I was more or less what I was expecting to find.   One interesting discovery I made was that INTJs are more prevalent on atheist boards than they are on type boards.  Typology is probably a bit too woo woo for many INTJs.  The INTPs, altough Thinking types, are one of the most active groups in the online typology community.  INTPs are a bit more open to the soft sciences because they enjoy endless speculation, enjoy considering possibilities without a need to come to an absolute conclusion.  

This is why on these boards 99.63% of all topics involve “I think” or “she/he thinks” or “they think,” and only 0.39% involve “I etc. did/do.”

 

   

I agree.   

Interestingly, though, my ISTJ mom would take a different perspective from both you and most integralists.  To her, life isn’t about enjoyment, but is instead about responsibility and routine.  Your ideal of making some money and attracting beautiful partners would be utterly alien to her worldview.  

Another interesting example is my ENTJ dad.  He does like to think and speculate, but first and foremost he is an Extraverted Thinking type.  He wants to do things and accomplish things.  He wants to help, inspire, and organize people.  He might find Integralism mildly interesting, but he wants to know the hard facts and the practical application.  He can think outside of the box, but in many ways he is contented with conventional thinking (he is very status conscious as TJ appreciates hierarchy and authority).  

Both of my parents are very action-oriented, but in very different ways.  The only commonality they have is that they’re both Judging types, and they both have Te as their preferred Judging function.  But neither is action-oriented like you although my dad comes closest to you in wanting to enjoy the good life… I suspect for totally different reasons though.  

Blessings,
Marmalade  

Marmalade : Gaia Explorer  

Re: Integral and Types

Marmalade said Jul 8, 2008, 2:42 PM:  

  I find it curious that so far the only significant response I’ve had to this thread is from Nickeson and he is critical of integral theory.  I have great interest in types and I have likewise used it as a critical perspective of integralism.There is obviously a lack of integration of type into integral theory, but is there also a lack of interest?  Do integralists perceive types as less important than lines of development or the quadrants?  Why have integralists focused so little upon something that has more scientific backing than other elements of integral that have less scientific backing?  Do integralists simply not know how to integrate types?  Or is it merely a paradigm bias of integralists idealizing transcendence?  Is personality not all that significant if your goal is transpersonal?  Could it be that most integralists simply don’t know much about types and they just don’t know what to make of them?  Or are many integralists actively critical of thinking too much in terms of types?  If so, what is the criticism of types from an integral perspective?  I don’t see types and integralism as being in conflict.  If anything, I think this might be one of the most fruitful avenues that integralism hasn’t yet explored.  

I’ve focused on Myers-Briggs in this thread because that is what I know best, but of course there are probably thousands of different kinds of type theories.  If Myers-Briggs doesn’t interest you, what type system does?  Beyond the brief summary of Wilber, how might the Enneagram be more fully integrated into integral theory?  

If you don’t like type theories whatsoever, then what do you think of trait theories which is a slightly different take on personality (and academically more respectable)?  Does Wilber or any other integralist speak much about personality traits?  

Blessings,
Marmalade  

Balder : Kosmonaut  

Re: Integral and Types

Balder said Jul 8, 2008, 3:06 PM:  

  Marmalade, unfortunately, most members of this pod are actually critical of Integral theory!  I am probably more strongly supportive of it than most of the other active members here.I am interested in this topic, and believe it actually is a very fruitful area to explore – particularly since I think greater sensitivity to types may help lessen the current tendency to almost impulsively evaluate everything in terms of “rank” or “level.”  I think the level-distinctions are valid, but as you and others point out, factoring “types” in may complicate those evaluations in significant ways.  As I mentioned in a previous post, I’m trying to write a blog entry in between my work and school duties, and I’m almost done with that.  That is what has kept me away from active participation here.  But I will be back!  

Best wishes,  

B.  

Marmalade : Gaia Explorer  

Re: Integral and Types

Marmalade said Jul 8, 2008, 5:12 PM:  

  Balder,Yeah.  From comments you’d made, I was assuming you were probably busy.  But there are other active members in this pod.  I was just wondering what people thought even if it was merely to say they’re not interested.  Even though many here are critical of integral or at least Wilber’s integral, they obviously have enough interest in integral to post here.  

As I said, the only significant response I’ve had has been from Nickeson.  And he doesn’t see much merit in integral as its presently forumlated.  But I do get the sense that he isn’t dismissing integral theory entirely.  Nevertheless, he certainly doesn’t seem hopeful about integrating types into integral, and maybe he is right.  

I like integral theory for the most part, and I like type theory for the most part.  Both systems have their flaws, but they’re good enough for basic understandings.  I’d like to think that the two can somehow inform eachother… and maybe even be included within a single theory.  

I don’t know.  I’d like to explore this some more.  At the moment, I was purposely focusing on only one aspect of types.  There are two other aspects that are more directly related to integralism, but I wanted to feel out the waters first.  One of those aspects is types not as types per se but as perspectives (eg Lenore Thomson).  The other aspect is the developmental.  Many type theories (eg Myers-Briggs and Enneagram) explicitly theorize how development commonly occurs.  

I guess I’ll just sit on it for the time being.  

I appreciate what you’re trying to do here with this pod.  I realize its difficult.  I hope that discussion can get past criticisms (even if insightful) and point towards new possibilities.  That was my hope for this thread anyways.  How might types allow new innovation within integral theory?  

   

Re: Integral and Types

Jim [no longer around] said Jul 8, 2008, 6:55 PM:

  Hi Marmalade. You wrote to Balder: “I was just wondering what people thought even if it was merely to say they’re not interested.” 

I’m well familiar with Jung’s typology (I had to study Jung in depth and was tested by teachers who’d trained at the C.G. Jung Institute in Zurich as part of my training in Arnold Mindell’s Process Work). I took the Myers-Briggs type test in the eighties. I read Almaas’s book, Facets of Unity: The Enneagram of Holy Ideas, and I’ve had people who are into the Enneagram as Helen Palmer teaches it talk to me about my Enneagram type. 

But I’m not interested in reading about, studying, or discussing type theory any more than I already have, and that’s why I haven’t commented on your posts where you discuss typology. 

🙂 

Jim 

  Marmalade : Gaia Explorer  

Re: Integral and Types

Marmalade said Jul 9, 2008, 12:43 AM:

  Hey Jim,Your post makes me curious all the while making me a bit sad.  You know about types and seemingly have an opinion on the matter, but for whatever reason don’t wish to share.. or maybe you just don’t have any clear thoughts on the matter.  My sense is that you see no value in types for the time being or maybe entirely.

Oh well… if you don’t feel like participating, then you don’t.  But if you ever do feel like sharing, I’d love to hear about your doubts or criticisms… or about your lack of interest for whatever reason.  I’ve enjoyed your views in other integral discussions.

I wonder if there are many integralists like you… people who know a fair amount about typology but it simply doesn’t relate to their interest in integral theory.  Its good to keep in mind that a lack of dicussion about types in the integral community doesn’t necessarily imply a lack of knowledge.  If that is the case, then what is the disconnect between the two?

Anyways, thanks for the reply.  Even though you didn’t say much, it still gives me some feedback.

Blessings,
Marmalade 

   

Re: Integral and Types

Jim [no longer around] said Jul 9, 2008, 11:41 AM:

  Hi Ben (if I may call you Ben),

Your post makes me curious all the while making me a bit sad.
I’m sorry to hear that my post makes you a bit sad.

You know about types and seemingly have an opinion on the matter, but for whatever reason don’t wish to share.. or maybe you just don’t have any clear thoughts on the matter.  My sense is that you see no value in types for the time being or maybe entirely.

It’s not that I don’t wish to share, it’s that I’m not interested in getting into a discussion on types and typology. I’m happy to share my opinion that a working understanding of Jung’s typology is important for anyone who wants to work in a helping capacity within a transpersonal – or integral if one prefers – context.

I had a private therapy practice working with individuals, couples, and small groups. My approach, largely based on my training in Process Work (which as I think you know was created by Jungian analyst Arny Mindell – his initial research into what he calls PW or Process Oriented Psychology was funded by the Jung Institute in Zurich where he trained budding Jungians to be Jungian analysts), was hands-on, experiential, and non-interpretive. Talking about types, thinking about types, and typing clients and participants in group work simply played no role in the work I did, just as my beautiful, expensive watercolor brushes played no role in the electrical and plumbing work I did no my house last week.

Oh well… if you don’t feel like participating, then you don’t.  But if you ever do feel like sharing, I’d love to hear about your doubts or criticisms… or about your lack of interest for whatever reason.

In addition to a lack of interest in the topic, my focus of late has been on neuroscience (among a few other things), the learning curve is steep, and I only have so much time. I don’t have doubts about typology (beyond my general doubts about “folk psychology”), and my lack of interest is no different to me than my lack of interest in spectator sports. I’m not against spectator sports any more than I’m against typology, but I’m not interested. I don’t know the names of sport teams or players, I don’t know what sport season it is, I don’t watch spectator sports on TV and I don’t attend live spectacles (I always fell asleep at Yankee Stadium and Shea Stadium whenever I was taken there when I was growing up in NY), and to me Superbowl Sunday is just another Sunday and a good day to go grocery shopping because the markets are usually empty during the game.

I wonder if there are many integralists like you… people who know a fair amount about typology but it simply doesn’t relate to their interest in integral theory.

I don’t consider myself an “integralist,” and I’m definitely not a Wilberian (and I find it difficult to hear the word “integral” without thinking of Wilber; IMO he has appropriated the word). I think that Wilber gets a lot of things right (and some things incredibly wrong), I participated in a series of Integral Institute meetings at his home in late 2000 and I corresponded a bit with him before that, but being into Ken Wilber’s integral theory of everything is just not a part of my path.

(I parenthetically mentioned having doubts about “folk psychology.” Some cognitive scientists and philosophers maintain that our “commonsense” or “folk” understanding of mental states constitute a theory that enables us to predict and explain the behavior of ourselves and others. Ken Wilber borrows the term “myth of the given” from Wilfrid Sellars. It so happens that Sellars’ ideas on the myth of the given are a source of the idea that folk psychology is a theory and is therefore subject to revision or even replacement.)

I hope that makes where I’m coming from at least a bit clearer.

Jim 

Marmalade : Gaia Child  

Re: Integral and Types

Marmalade said Jul 9, 2008, 2:37 PM:

  Jim,Sure… call me Ben if you’d like.  Call me almost anything you want as far as I care.

Neuroscience, eh?  I’ve come across research on neuroscience and personality.  Traits research goes into this quite a bit.  What kind of neuroscience are you interested in?

I would agree “that folk psychology is a theory and is therefore subject to revision or even replacement.”  That is why I like to study and research the subject.  Also, its the reason I prefer Myers-Briggs over the Enneagram.  I haven’t found any academic research about the Enneagram, and so I have no way of making sense out of all the differing opinions.  Myers-Briggs is closer to traits theory than to the Enneagram, and traits theory has been researched to a great extent and across cultures. 

So, to the extent that Myers-Briggs correlates with this academic research, it isn’t folk psychology.  However, there is still much research that needs to be done on Myers-Briggs theory.  For example, there is good reason to question the orthogonal view of the functions which traits theory disagrees with.

If you ever feel so inclined, it would be nice to see a thread about what you’ve learned from your neuroscience studies.

Blessings,
Marmalade 

 

Re: Integral and Types

Jim [no longer around] said Jul 9, 2008, 5:10 PM:

  Ben, I’ve been working, as time allows, on a response to Balder’s request (to any members of this pod) for “a positive formulation of your own spiritual vision,” and I may touch on neuroscience in that. Blessings to you too, Jim 
Nickeson : Easy  

Re: Integral and Types

Nickeson said Jul 8, 2008, 5:54 PM:

  Marmalade,Quickly;

1)  “…my ISTJ mom would take a different perspective from both you and most integralists.  To her, life isn’t about enjoyment, but is instead about responsibility and routine.  Your ideal of making some money and attracting beautiful partners would be utterly alien to her worldview.”

Your mom is not just an S, she’s an SJ! Keirsey says this is the “Guardian temperament.” 

  • Guardians pride themselves on being dependable, helpful, and hard-working.
  • Guardians make loyal mates, responsible parents, and stabilizing leaders.
  • Guardians tend to be dutiful, cautious, humble, and focused on credentials and traditions.
  • Guardians are concerned citizens who trust authority, join groups, seek security, prize gratitude, and dream of meting out justice.

(For more read here.)

But then here, for comparison, is a Keirsey run-down of SPs, the “Artisans,” a category more like me–

  • Artisans tend to be fun-loving, optimistic, realistic, and focused on the here and now
  • Artisans pride themselves on being unconventional, bold, and spontaneous.
  • Artisans make playful mates, creative parents, and troubleshooting leaders.
  • Artisans are excitable, trust their impulses, want to make a splash, seek stimulation, prize freedom, and dream of mastering action skills.

(For more read here.)

And then there are the NFs, the “most integralists”–

  • Idealists are enthusiastic, they trust their intuition, yearn for romance, seek their true self, prize meaningful relationships, and dream of attaining wisdom.
  • Idealists pride themselves on being loving, kindhearted, and authentic.
  • Idealists tend to be giving, trusting, spiritual, and they are focused on personal journeys and human potentials.
  • Idealists make intense mates, nurturing parents, and inspirational leaders.

(For more read here.)

On almost every site here in the on-line Integral Province one finds evidence that the ideal person is an Idealist, every site is preaching to this choir, seeking their approval  love. Novelist James Mitchner, speaking of everybody, once said to the effect of “It is not that everybody wants to be a writer, everybody wants to have been a writer.” Here one could say similarly “Its not that every Integralite wants to be Ramana Maharshi, every Integralite wants to have been Ramana Maharshi.” On these overviews (I left one out) the word “spiritual” only shows up as an Idealist quality. And descriptions of the ideal citizen of Yellow or Ultramarine, Burnt Sienna or whatever the popular, upper-berth color here in the Province is this season boils down to the ideal Idealist; run-of-the-mill Idealists are still stuck in Green. Maybe in a Type Theory of Integral the first thing to do is factor out the cultural confounders and run a horizontal analysis of the colors.  How different would that look from the Jungian types, or as someone pointed out on the Integral Praxis Sosh Ntwrk site, how different would that look from the primary and recombinant qualities of the Zodiac?

I guess all of the long posts I have made on this thread have just been wordy ways of backing into the same question…one that has been implied in each, and since failing to get an answer I will ask it directly: Do the precursory qualities for transformation and enlightenment favor NFs? From a blending of what we see of types and the Integral givens it would appear that would be the the logical working hypothesis. Does this mean that Bio-spiritual and cultural evolution as defined by what is generally considered core Integral Theory promote NF, or at least the top cut of the catagory, as more evolved than any other type?

There are times when I, as an SP in the land of NFs, feel like an itinerant anthropologist, or wandering writer a la Paul Theroux or Peter Matthiesson, sending dispatches back to a home far, far away. As you know I have been writing from the virtual sovereignty I call Integral Province. If the answer to my question can any way be construed toward the positive then I might have to rethink this name, perhaps drop “Province” and adopt “Ghetto.” 

Marmalade : Gaia Explorer  

Re: Integral and Types

Marmalade said Jul 9, 2008, 1:55 AM:

  Nickeson,Yep, my mom is an SJ.  I brought it up as a counterexample to your SP slant on the differences between S and N.  I’m willing to bet that a SJ would feel like even more of an outsider in the integral community than an SP would.

How I see all of this is that Wilber is more likely an NT than not and so there is a NT bias at the heart of integral theory… whether or not NFs are also attracted to integral idealism.  Of the NFs, INFJs have the most interest in systematic theorizing.  But even INFJs don’t come close to most NTs when it comes to systematic theorizing.  I know INFPs particularly well and few would be interested in integral, but maybe the ideal Idealist… I don’t know.  So, its true that integralism is idealistic and NFs are known as the Idealists, but Thinking has its version of idealism in its focus on principles.  And the hierarchical structure of integral theory is more in line with the Thinking function as I understand it.

Here is the breakdown in terms of religion.  Most theology professors are probably NTs.  Most ministers are probably NFs.  Most of the congregation is probably SJs.  I don’t know where the SPs might be… probably doing missionary work in a third-world country.

So, Wilber and other integral theorists are probably NTs.  However, many of the advocates of integralism in a forum may be NFs.  In a pod like this maybe its pretty even between NTs and NFs, but I’d say that there is still an NT bias to integral theory overall.

MBTI was created by an INFP.  Even though it took a lot of intellectual thought (ie statistical analysis), its a very NF model.  Its not hierarchical for one thing.  Instead, its about seeing the good in everyone exactly as they are.  It has its developmental aspect, but the equality aspect is emphasized more.

Integral as the ideal from the top cut of Idealists?  It could be.  I do have the suspicion that many spiritual visionaries are NFs.  But how many of them would turn their spiritual vision into an all-encompassing hierarchical abstract theory?

Your viewpoint is intriguing.  Even though integral theory came from the mind of a probable NT, maybe its slowly being hijacked by NFs.  But of course the NTs see it as corruption from the green meme.

So, how would you create an integral theory from an SP perspective?  Or is your SP perspective that such theorizing is pointless?  If you could somehow organize your SP brethren, how would you attempt to hijack the integral movement?  🙂

Blessings,
Marmalade 

Nickeson : Easy  

Re: Integral and Types

Nickeson said Jul 9, 2008, 10:16 AM:

  Maramalade,I’m just going to jump around here a little:

And the hierarchical structure of integral theory is more in line with the Thinking function as I understand it.

This might be debated. I think it might have more to do with N aligned with J.  Jung was a Thinking type (INTP, I believe) and he wasn’t big on hierarchies except cultural and moral ones.


Most ministers are probably NFs.  Most of the congregation is probably SJs.  I don’t know where the SPs might be…

Have you ever read Sinclair Lewis’s novel Elmer Gantry? It mostly concerns the relationship between an SP evangelist and an NF faith healer.

I do have the suspicion that many spiritual visionaries are NFs.  But how many of them would turn their spiritual vision into an all-encompassing hierarchical abstract theory?

Excellent point!

Even though integral theory came from the mind of a probable NT, maybe its slowly being hijacked by NFs.  But of course the NTs see it as corruption from the green meme.

This is one of the reasons I sometimes wonder about the depth of Wilber’s here and now consciousness. In one aspect of the theory he gives the NFs what they need because they are NFs and they will support him. But in another aspect he bites the hands that feed him because they aren’t intuitively rational enough, and they in turn will forgive him because they are who they are. Co-dependence, no?

If you could somehow organize your SP brethren, how would you attempt to hijack the integral movement?

I don’t think most would consider it worth hijacking. It isn’t effective enough, it doesn’t do anything,  its too academic. That is why politicians might give it a nod and then move on. It is void of solutions for the here and now. But it is a good place to stock-pile NFs until they are needed to march in the streets.

So, how would you create an integral theory from an SP perspective?

I’ll have to give that more thought. I have been thinking of  whipping up a little something vis a vis Balder’s call for papers on a ”positive formulation of your own spiritual vision.” Maybe I can organize it about this question…we’ll see.

S. 

Marmalade : Gaia Child  

Re: Integral and Types

Marmalade said Jul 9, 2008, 3:43 PM:

  And the hierarchical structure of integral theory is more in line with the Thinking function as I understand it.This might be debated. I think it might have more to do with N aligned with J.  Jung was a Thinking type (INTP, I believe) and he wasn’t big on hierarchies except cultural and moral ones.

I understand why you’d say J and I would add the Judging functions of Thinking and Feeling.  I’m surprised by your thinking it would be N aligned with J (ie Ni).  From my understanding of Lenore Thomson, Ni wants to free an idea from larger contexts especially external contexts… because Ni wants to focus more narrowly.  However, within their own personal understanding, their thoughts can be more structured (depending on how well their Judging function is developed).  My ENTJ dad can be more structured and hierarchical in thinking, but I always interpreted that as a result of his being Te dominant (ie EXTJ).

I was basing my statement largely on personal observation of an INFP forum and some NT forums (in particular an INTP forum).  Its somewhat of an issue of debating style.  NFs (especially Feeling dominants) can have a hierarchical side, but its a hierarchy of values.  NFs don’t seem overly hierarchical with ideas and abstract theories.  However, to the extent that an idea stands in for an Idealist value, an NF could become attached to a hierarchical theory.

I’m not sure what type Jung was.  I’ve heard of him being an INTP, but Beebe thinks he was an INTJ.  I know that he didn’t like social hierarchies, and that may have more to do with his Introversion than with anything else (although my ISTJ mom likes social hierarchies).  I think Beebe’s assessment makes sense.  An INTP’s dominant Ti gives them a strong internal sense of structure and also a tendency towards methodical analysis.  Jung seems more Ni dominant to me.  He was a deep thinker, but there is somewhat of a looseness to all of his thinking.  Jung never had an overarching systematic theory as Wilber does and I see Wilber as being more of an INTP.

Have you ever read Sinclair Lewis’s novel Elmer Gantry? It mostly concerns the relationship between an SP evangelist and an NF faith healer.

No, never read it.  Sounds interesting.  What did you think of it?

In one aspect of the theory he gives the NFs what they need because they are NFs and they will support him. But in another aspect he bites the hands that feed him because they aren’t intuitively rational enough, and they in turn will forgive him because they are who they are. Co-dependence, no?

The social dynamics of the situation is very intriguing.  I could imagine that Wilber’s most loyal followers might be NFs, and maybe he has encouraged this to an extent.  An NF could be very forgiving about Wilber and his ideas if they projected their idealistic values onto the ideal of integralism.  Most NFs don’t care about a theory being perfect and they might be willing to ignore any gaps that aren’t too obvious.

BTW INFPs are very individualistic, but they also are considered the most idealistic of the Idealists.  If a theory captures their sense of idealism, they very well might throw themselves into it without reservation.  INFPs more than any type want something overarching to believe in.

But it is a good place to stock-pile NFs until they are needed to march in the streets.

Very good point.  NFs can be pacifists and passivists, but once their idealism is challenged its a different story.  I’ve had an interesting discussion on why INFPs would make good terrorists and guerilla fighters.  The discussion started because bin Laden seems like a possible INFP.  He combines cultural analysis with fiery righteousness, and a patient indirect way of challenging authority.  INFPs, when the situation is right, can make good leaders of small groups.  They inspire the loyal SJs to put the NF’s ideals into action.

So, how would you create an integral theory from an SP perspective?

I’ll have to give that more thought. I have been thinking of  whipping up a little something vis a vis Balder’s call for papers on a ”positive formulation of your own spiritual vision.” Maybe I can organize it about this question…we’ll see.

I look forward to whatever you may come up with.

Blessings,
Marmalade 

Nickeson : Easy  

Re: Integral and Types

Nickeson said Jul 13, 2008, 6:18 PM:

  Maramalade,Not long ago you asked these questions of me:

So, how would you create an integral theory from an SP perspective?  Or is your SP perspective that such theorizing is pointless?

And I answered that I would address that question in a post re: Balder’s request for papers on a positive Spiritual vision. But I’m not going to do that now, times have changed. However there still might be an indirect answer to those questions in various excerpts from the following blog posts. Most people around here might have read them by now, but since you asked–

First, the last five or six paragraphs of ”Integral Dissipation” are pretty explicit on the matter.

Second, the whole of ”To One in the Dark V” looks at the same thing from a slightly different perspective

Third, the implications of ”No Reason to Believe” add nuances, and,

Fourth, so do the implications of ”Vultures Copulating on the Roof” particularly this bit:

M has been reading Bhagavan Das and thinking back. The two of us are easing toward sleep, her head, my shoulder conjoined. She wonders why he or anyone else wants things to have meaning when meanings just enforce limits.  

From M—Wholeness: no limits, no meaning. Make a note of it. 

S.
 

Marmalade : Gaia Child  

Re: Integral and Types

Marmalade said Jul 9, 2008, 5:49 PM:

  I don’t want this discussion about types to be limited to typology.For instance, what does anyone think of archetypes as horizontal types?  I realize that archetypes also can be seen vertically and the pre/trans fallacy can be invoked.  But for the moment what do you think of archetypes as general categories of human cognition and experience?  And can archetypes be a part of Integral theory?

Blessings,
Marmalade 

Nickeson : Easy  

Re: Integral and Types

Nickeson said Jul 10, 2008, 6:35 AM:

  Marmalade,I understand why you’d say J and I would add the Judging functions of Thinking and Feeling.  I’m surprised by your thinking it would be N aligned with J (ie Ni).  From my understanding of Lenore Thomson, Ni wants to free….

You are no doubt correct and also way ahead of me here. I am not familiar with the details of Thomson’s work and I’ve never heard of Beebe before your mention of him. I believe the last theory I read with anything more than passing curiosity was Bolon’s and that was long ago. I can see why there is equivocation on Jung’s J or P as those two seem to be the most mercurial and culturally mutable aspects. My statement on the matter was remembering what one or another of his student/colleagues, like von Franz, et al, wrote of him. Speaking of archetypes and hierarchies in this light, Jung’s intellectual position on the basic quaternary of personal archetypes (Hero, Wise Old Man, King, Puer, etc) was fairly horizontal but as a conscientious Swiss by culture he elevated the Wise Old Man and the King (to a lesser extent) and was disparaging of the Puer. This is where theory and training diverge after a time from experience and folk psychology. I am with Jim who said a working knowledge of the types is a good thing for liberal humanist style therapists. I suspect that in five years or so following training most of these clinicians are practicing folk psychology to some extent. (To me folk psychology is of a difference order than pop psychology which is just out there for its entertainment value.) Whether it is positively effective or damaging to the client is a function of the therapists’ abilities and not the source of the style/theory. Of course it is not going to play well for the theorists or those in the labs, but the same can be said of anthing that arises outside of their immediate venues.

Elmer Gantry is probably as entertaining, instructive and thought provoking as any professionally written 82-year-old novel is these days. I read it when it was only 33-years-old so it had different things to say at that time.

And can archetypes be a part of Integral theory?

I think anything that can be said of types can and should be said about archtypes. And by definition anything and everything can be a part of Integral Theory and that drops the hint that Integral might not qualify as a theory at all.