Kosmic Address: Everything In Its Right Place

Ken Wilber Integrative Metatheory, Perspectives, Presentations, Video 1 Comment

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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.

In Ken’s Own Words:

A Kosmic Address, as I have noted, is the sum total of the AQAL dimensions of any given phenomenon. We live in a universe that is, formally, without a given center—it is a universe where any thing or event can be taken as the center of the universe, and everything else related to its location. But “its location” cannot itself be given in a single and fixed fashion, since it is not located in relation to any fixed center; it itself can be located only in relation to the sum total of all other phenomena in the universe. Therefore, its “address”—its “Kosmic Address”—can be indicated only by giving a list of its relative relations to other known phenomena. The AQAL Matrix does exactly this.

Thus, a simple Kosmic address of a given emotional state might be that it exists in quadrant 1 (Upper Left), in the emotional intelligence line, at an amber altitude, in a gross state, with an Enneagram type five, and defiling emotion type 4. In the known universe, that is enough information to identify the general “location” of that particular emotional state—along with its major qualities and characteristics. Or, for a jet fighter as a social product or artifact, it exists in quadrant 4 (Lower Right), in the military‑defense line, at a teal altitude, in a gross state, of a fighter F-16 type, of an United States type. God as Loving Ground (Great Thou) is quadrant 2 (Lower Left), ultraviolet altitude, bhakti line, low‑causal state, Spirit-in-2nd-person type, saguna type. And so on.

All three of those referents are real; they exist in particular, real worldspaces; and the location, or Kosmic Address, of each can be indicated in relation to the sum total of other real referents in the Kosmos, which the AQAL Matrix dimensions do. Any number of identifying “locating” elements can be given; the five AQAL elements are a simple minimum. Further, the knower, or experiencer, of any of those referents also has its own particular Kosmic address, and that, too, needs to be stated for a full picture. (Somebody at the amber altitude structure-level who is attempting to understand an indigo‑level phenomenon will not do a very adequate job, and might mistranslate it badly; this needs to be taken into account with any knowing process, and the “location” of any referent will include both the referent’s and the knower’s Kosmic address.)

The point is that all actual referents—including dogs, the square root of negative one, and formless God—exist in particular worldspaces; they have specific Kosmic Addresses. They aren’t lying around in a flatland pregiven world waiting to be perceived by all and sundry, but the particular worldspaces have to be contacted (the particular Kosmic Addresses have to be looked up and followed), in order for you to be put in close enough vicinity to the referent to be able to directly experience it. (Not even a dog is open to being perceived by all beings—a single cell, for example, can’t see the dog because it can’t get anywhere near its Kosmic Address, so the dog doesn’t exist for it.)

-Ken Wilber, The Religion of Tomorrow

Ken Wilber

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”.


  1. Different Cosmic address levels causes conflict in many contexts, as you say. It also seems that only those who have evolved to higher levels are able to understand those at earlier developmental /intellectual/ consciousness stages; but since the world is filled with groups living at those earlier stages, including leaders, we get conflict, hate, misunderstanding constantly. Now, if development or evolution of consciousness is maybe impossible to “teach” or to train into, as it has to come through will, work, and EXPERIENCE, does any of your books or articles include ideas on the type of help that can be given to at least those who must resolve conflict?

    Maybe I’m asking for the recipe for salvation. So, disregard if the question is too open.

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