Sunday, April 10, 2005

AQAL Model of Reality

I posted this on another blog, but i'm not pursuing that idea now.

I would like to start out by saying that this is simply for my own referance if you want to really understand this then go to the source don't trust my information. But if you're someone out there just trying to get it all straight and you've read wilber yourself i hope this helps

The primary basis of Wilber's integral philosophy is his AQAL map of reality All Quandrant, All Level.

The Basic idea is that reality is constitued of 4 irreducable aspects. first you can devide the map in half left and right. The left representing the internal aspects of a given system or holon as wilber referrs to them. The right representing the outside or empircal aspect of a system. Once that distinction is made you again devide those halves into upper and lower quadrants. Upper represents the individual both internally and externally. Lower represents the collective internally and externally.

The reason that it is important to devide any given system up like this is because to represent it in it's entirety then you must account for all these aspects of it's existance. This system allows for one to account for these different aspects of existance without getting the speciifics tangled into each other. According to this model that is something one must not do, no aspect of a holon is reducible to another, that is essential.

It is important to address the meaning of all quadrant and all level. By all quadrant as i've explained we are referring to the irreducibility of each aspect of reality. You cannot use empirical observation to explain the internal components of a system eg. a human experiencing emotions or the meaning of the hoppi rain dance (to use a Wilber example) for the upper left and lower left respectively. One very interesting fact that turns up when you outline things in this way is the corresponding levels of each quadrant. For each level, if you look at the comparable level in the other quadrants you will see a very simaler development within it's own context. there is a part of the brain (UR) that correlates to each level of conscious development(UL) and there is a world view (LL) corresponding to each phase of techno-economic growth (LR)

To explain the all level aspect you must understand that all systems progress through development in a linear fashion overall. Not to say that there's not fluid movement up and down the scale depending the the various stimuli and the specifics of that system. Each level transcends and includes all the previous levels. Which means that anyone at the rational level of conscious development must have transcended all the previous levels such as magical and mythic levels. So someone at the rational level of consciousness would be able to incorporate and understand all the information revealed from the lower states of understanding into a more comprehensive model at the rational level. But it transcends in that you are given a new system within which to operate, so it has a creative emergence at each stage of transcendece. Stated more simply as the progression from level to level occurs something new is always added to the whole.

So that is my best attempt at a summary of this AQAL model. Refer to the title link for an image of the AQAL map and a much better summary

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