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The universe, we understand, is not a random cacophony of noise and entropy. No, ours is truly a “uni-verse” — One Song — which means that everything in it is somehow interconnected and unified with everything else. Everything fits together.
But how does everything fit together?
Here Ken Wilber explores the notion of Kosmic Address — a universal “indexing system” that uses the integral framework to situate and constellate all known phenomena (physical, mental, and spiritual), as well our capacity to discern that phenomena. This allows us to not only better understand the nature of each component part, but also how that part relates to every other part and fits into the whole, revealing the hidden architecture of knowledge itself.
The De-Centering of the Kosmos
- Evolution and expansion of consciousness have led to a shift in our understanding of our location in the kosmos.
- Any singular phenomenon in the universe can be considered central due to relativity and the general relative location of everything to everything.
- In the Middle Ages, Tyco Bre, Kepler, and Galileo demonstrated that the solar system could be viewed more parsimoniously by abandoning Ptolemy’s complex cycles.
- Giordano Bruno’s idea of “acentric” postulated that any view of the kosmos could be central to any other view, which threatened the church’s idea of one redeemer for one earth.
The Importance of AQAL Framework in Understanding Individual Perspectives and Realities
- AQAL suggests that individuals are evolving in different worlds and have different perspectives and locations based on their level, lines, and state.
- Different locations mean that individuals are seeing and experiencing different phenomena.
- AQAL emphasizes the need to specify which quadrant, level, line, and state an individual is in to understand their location and perspective.
- Even individuals in the same room can be in extremely different locations based on their interiors.
- AQAL shows that everyone has the potential to be in a different world, not on the same planet.
Understanding Different Worldviews
- People have different kosmic addresses that determine their worldviews.
- Giving someone a kosmic address involves comparing their physical level to different altitudes such as infrared, crimson, magenta, etc.
- Different locations and lines also determine how individuals view the world.
- Understanding someone’s kosmic address helps to determine how well they will fit in with others.
- Different kosmic addresses make it difficult for individuals to understand each other.
- The assumption that everyone’s physical bodies are similar leads to misunderstanding.
- Different kosmic addresses mean that individuals are located in different places in the kosmos and do not inhabit the same space.
Integral Semiotics and Kosmic Address
- The theory of language and signifying things is referred to as semantics.
- Semiotics is the study of word or symbol representation of one thing to another.
- Every sign has three elements according to Ferdinand de Saussure: the signifier, the signified, and the referent.
- The signifier represents the written or spoken word, and the signified is what comes to mind when reading or hearing the signifier.
- The referent is the real-world thing represented by the signifier.
- Semiotics believes that real referents exist only in the sensorimotor worldspace, posing a problem since language exchange is the basis of human existence.
- Individuals who have experienced the real referent of a signifier can accurately understand its signified.
- The real referent of a signifier exists in an actual world space, at a particular level, and may not be understood by individuals at lower levels of consciousness.
The Existence of Referents in Different World Spaces
- When one enters a causal state of consciousness, they experience a formless state of infinite reality.
- Dr. Eben Alexander, a neuroscientist from Harvard, experienced a vivid, real experience while in a brain-dead state due to a severe illness.
- There are referents that exist in different world spaces, such as the square root of a negative one existing in the orange rational world space.
- A giga-glossary is an attempt to look at all of the different phenomena that exist in different world spaces.
- The point of a giga-glossary is to give referents a kosmic address.
Understanding the Relative Truth of Reality
- The Infinite formless Godhead exists only at the formless causal state of awareness, which most people never experience, leading them to conclude that God isn’t real.
- The God of the mythic realm exists for many people experiencing it, but is no more real than Santa Claus outside that realm due to enfoldment, which decreases the perceived realness of lower realms.
- Each realm is true to the people experiencing it, but each higher realm is more adequate or true, leading to a sliding scale of truth instead of one absolute truth.
- As we progress through levels of development, our understanding of reality changes. Atoms were pictured as small systems until quarks were discovered, and eventually, strings were introduced in the most complex theory yet.
- The relative nature of truth requires a continual evolution of understanding, making it impossible to have one absolute truth.
The Relationship between Physics and Spirituality
- Physics and spirituality are vastly different domains. While physics requires extensive experiments, spirituality is more of a theoretical concept like the Pythagorean theorem.
- Reality changes with different levels of kosmic consciousness. Depending on an individual’s kosmic consciousness, the world differs, and every aspect of reality varies from atoms to strings.
- The concept of a sliding scale of truth comes into play as every level of truth is accurate, and a higher level of truth is more authentic.
- Waiting until the end of evolution to get a final truth is impractical as kosmic evolution is crucial to situate each other in this framework and understand the connection between different aspects of reality.
About Ken Wilber
Ken Wilber is a preeminent scholar of the Integral stage of human development. He is an internationally acknowledged leader, founder of Integral Institute, and co-founder of Integral Life. Ken is the originator of arguably the first truly comprehensive or integrative world philosophy, aptly named “Integral Theory”.