The 8 Horizons of Love

Corey deVosCognitive, Emotional, How can I feel happy and fulfilled in my life?, Interpersonal, Love & Intimacy, Video, Witt & Wisdom: Live with Dr. Keith Leave a Comment

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Perspective Shift:

  1. Complexity is an asset, not a liability. The intricate nature of relationships provides opportunities for deep connection, growth, and continuous learning together.
  2. Relationships are dynamic, not static. Viewing relationships as ever-shifting, ever-evolving processes helps us adapt and grow alongside our partners.
  3. Interconnectedness is key. All aspects of a relationship are interdependent, and changes in one area can significantly impact others.
  4. Holistic understanding leads to better outcomes. Integrating perspectives from all eight horizons allows us to see the full picture and create more effective interventions.
“I’ve been with my wife for nearly 18 years now, and just like all relationships, we have our ups, we have our downs, we have our challenges and our conflicts. And one of the things that I noticed is that, for a great many of these challenges and conflicts, the conversations that we were having just naturally began to organize themselves into these eight horizons.” Corey deVos

Human relationships are some of the most complex phenomena in the known universe. This complexity allows for deep connection, growth, and the opportunity to continuously learn and evolve together. But it can also quickly lead to misunderstandings, conflicts, and emotional distress, all of which can make the process of problem-solving and returning to love difficult for one or both partners.

In this episode of Witt and Wisdom, Corey deVos introduces a comprehensive relationships framework he is currently developing, designed to help partners navigate the staggering complexity of our relationships. Whether romantic, familial, or platonic, Corey highlights the eight fundamental territories or horizons within which all relationships unfold, detailing the common factors, everyday examples, key questions, common challenges, and the risks of neglecting each of these horizons:

These 8 horizons represent the essential aspects of relationships that need our ongoing attention and care. Understanding and addressing these horizons is crucial for fostering healthy and resilient relationships, allowing the engine of the relationship to fire on all eight cylinders. Neglect any of these, and problems will inevitably arise.

“These are the eight vistas within which our love, our intimacy, our friendship can unfold. They can also be the eight battle zones — when we’re in conflict, when we’re dealing with a challenge, we can find that conflict often distributed across these eight different kinds of horizons.”Corey deVos

To learn more about these 8 Horizons, beyond what Corey and Keith discuss in this episode, you can check out the full Context map: (For members only.)

Integral 101: From the Four Quadrants to the Eight Horizons

The 8 Horizons framework is built upon the foundation of the four quadrants, which represent the four fundamental dimensions of human experience: individual-interior (“Being”), individual-exterior (“Doing”), collective interior (“Being Together”), and collective-exterior (“Doing Together”). Each of these quadrants offers a unique perspective on the nature of reality and human interaction:

By examining each of these four quadrants from both an “inside” (1st-person) and an “outside” (3rd-person) perspective, we arrive at the 8 Horizons. These 8 horizons provide a comprehensive framework for understanding the complexities of human experience and relationships:

For example, when I look at my own Upper-Left quadrant (“Being”) from the inside, from a 1st-person perspective, I can see my own inner experiences, consciousness, and self-perceptions. All of these arise in my Horizon 1 awareness. And if you were to look at my Upper-Left quadrant from the outside, from a 3rd-person perspective, you would see the various psychological patterns, developmental structures, and shadow elements that shape my unconscious in Horizon 2.

Similarly, when we feel into our shared Lower-Left quadrant (“Being Together”) from the inside, we reveal the depth of our mutual understanding, the quality of our connection, and the felt resonance between us, all of which describe our overall “we-space” in Horizon 3. And if someone else were to view our intersubjective relationship from the outside, they would observe the various Horizon 4 dynamics, norms, and patterns that govern our we-space.

By applying this inside/outside perspective to each of the four quadrants, we create a holistic map of the 8 Horizons, which encompasses the full spectrum of individual, collective, interior, exterior dimensions of human experience and relationships.

This episode offers a profound exploration of how these horizons can help deepen and expand our relationships, making them more resilient in the process. Corey’s 8 Horizon model not only provides a comprehensive framework for understanding and improving relationships, but also offers a powerful tool for integrating the principles of integral theory into everyday life. What better way to introduce integral theory than simply looking at two holons in relationship with each other?

By using integral theory to better understand relationships, and by using our relationships to better understand integral theory, we gain deep insights into both the complexities of human connection and the holistic nature of reality itself. This episode is a must-listen for anyone seeking to understand the deeper dimensions of their relationships, and to cultivate a love that is as resilient as it is profound.

“You are already in these territories in your relationship, whether you know it or not. And chances are, you know it, and this is just simply giving a name and showing why these particular territories are so elemental when it comes to our relationships.”Corey deVos

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In this episode of Witt and Wisdom, Corey deVos introduces a comprehensive relationships framework he is currently developing, designed to help partners navigate the staggering complexity of our relationships — whether romantic, familial, or platonic. Corey highlights the eight fundamental territories or horizons within which all relationships unfold, detailing the common factors, everyday examples, key questions, common challenges, and the risks of neglecting each of these horizons.
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Corey deVos

About Corey deVos

Corey W. deVos is editor and producer of Integral Life. He has worked for Integral Institute/Integal Life since Spring of 2003, and has been a student of integral theory and practice since 1996. Corey is also a professional woodworker, and many of his artworks can be found in his VisionLogix art gallery.

Dr. Keith Witt

About Keith Witt

Dr. Keith Witt is a Licensed Psychologist, teacher, and author who has lived and worked in Santa Barbara, CA. for over forty years. Dr. Witt is also the founder of The School of Love.