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Introductory Remarks. [ON METHOD] THERE are seven causes of inconsistencies and contradictions to be met within a literary work.
The first cause arises from the fact that the author collects the opinions of various men, each differing from the other, but neglects to mention the name of the author of any particular opinion. In such a work contradictions or inconsistencies must occur, since any two statements may belong to two different authors.
Second cause: The author holds at first one opinion which he subsequently rejects: in his work., however, both his original and altered views are retained.
Third cause: The passages in question are not all to be taken literally: some only are to be understood in their literal sense, while in others figurative language is employed, which includes another meaning besides the literal one: or, in the apparently inconsistent passages, figurative language is employed which, if taken literally, would seem to be contradictories or contraries.
Fourth cause: The premises are not identical in both statements, but for certain reasons they are not fully stated in these passages: or two propositions with different subjects which are expressed by the same term without having the difference in meaning pointed out, occur in two passages. The contradiction is therefore only apparent, but there is no contradiction in reality.
The fifth cause is traceable to the use of a certain method adopted in teaching and expounding profound problems. Namely, a difficult and obscure theorem must sometimes be mentioned and assumed as known, for the illustration of some elementary and intelligible subject which must be taught beforehand the commencement being always made with the easier thing. The teacher must therefore facilitate, in any manner which he can devise, the explanation of those theorems, which have to be assumed as known, and he must content himself with giving a general though somewhat inaccurate notion on the subject. It is, for the present, explained according to the capacity of the students, that they may comprehend it as far as they are required to understand the subject. Later on, the same subject is thoroughly treated and fully developed in its right place.
Sixth cause: The contradiction is not apparent, and only becomes evident through a series of premises. The larger the number of premises necessary to prove the contradiction between the two conclusions, the greater is the chance that it will escape detection, and that the author will not perceive his own inconsistency. Only when from each conclusion, by means of suitable premises, an inference is made, and from the enunciation thus inferred, by means of proper arguments, other conclusions are formed, and after that process has been repeated many times, then it becomes clear that the original conclusions are contradictories or contraries. Even able writers are liable to overlook such inconsistencies. If, however, the contradiction between the original statements can at once be discovered, and the author, while writing the second, does not think of the first, he evinces a greater deficiency, and his words deserve no notice whatever.
Seventh cause: It is sometimes necessary to introduce such metaphysical matter as may partly be disclosed, but must partly be concealed: while, therefore, on one occasion the object which the author has in view may demand that the metaphysical problem be treated as solved in one way, it may be convenient on another occasion to treat it as solved in the opposite way. The author must endeavour, by concealing the fact as much as possible, to prevent the uneducated reader from perceiving the contradiction.
Jain Many SidedNess
Anekāntavāda (Sanskrit: अनेकान्तवाद, “many-sidedness”) refers to the Jain doctrine about metaphysical truths that emerged in ancient India. It states that the ultimate truth and reality is complex and has multiple aspects. Anekantavada has also been interpreted to mean non-absolutism, “intellectual Ahimsa”,religious pluralism, as well as a rejection of fanaticism that leads to terror attacks and mass violence. Some scholars state that modern revisionism has attempted to reinterpret anekantavada with religious tolerance, openmindedness and pluralism.
Affirmation: syād-asti—in some ways, it is,
Denial: syān-nāsti—in some ways, it is not,
Joint but successive affirmation and denial: syād-asti-nāsti—in some ways, it is, and it is not,
Joint and simultaneous affirmation and denial: syād-asti-avaktavyaḥ—in some ways, it is, and it is indescribable,
Joint and simultaneous affirmation and denial: syān-nāsti-avaktavyaḥ—in some ways, it is not, and it is indescribable,
Joint and simultaneous affirmation and denial: syād-asti-nāsti-avaktavyaḥ—in some ways, it is, it is not, and it is indescribable,
Joint and simultaneous affirmation and denial: syād-avaktavyaḥ—in some ways, it is indescribable.
Holons are the individual building blocks of Wilber’s model. Wilber borrowed the concept of holons from Arthur Koestler‘s description of the great chain of being, a mediaeval description of levels of being. “Holon” means that every entity and concept is both an entity on its own, and a hierarchical part of a larger whole. For example, a cell in an organism is both a whole as a cell, and at the same time a part of another whole, the organism. Likewise a letter is a self-existing entity and simultaneously an integral part of a word, which then is part of a sentence, which is part of a paragraph, which is part of a page; and so on. Everything from quarks to matter to energy to ideas can be looked at in this way. The relation between individuals and society is not the same as between cells and organisms though, because individual holons can be members but not parts of social holons.
In his book Sex, Ecology, Spirituality: The Spirit of Evolution, Wilber outlines twenty fundamental properties, called “tenets”, that characterize all holons. For example, they must be able to maintain their “wholeness” and also their “part-ness;” a holon that cannot maintain its wholeness will cease to exist and will break up into its constituent parts.
Holons form natural “holarchies“, like Russian dolls, where a whole is a part of another whole, in turn part of another whole, and so on.
Each holon can be seen from within (subjective, interior perspective) and from the outside (objective, exterior perspective), and from an individual or a collective perspective.
Each of the four approaches has a valid perspective to offer. The subjective emotional pain of a person who suffers a tragedy is one perspective; the social statistics about such tragedies are different perspectives on the same matter. According to Wilber all are needed for real appreciation of a matter.
Wilber uses this grid to categorize the perspectives of various theories and scholars, for example:
Interior individual perspective (upper-left quadrant) include Freudianpsychoanalysis, which interprets people’s interior experiences and focuses on “I”
Exterior individual perspective (upper-right) include B. F. Skinner‘s behaviorism, which limits itself to the observation of the behavior of organisms and treats the internal experience, decision making or volition of the subject as a black box, and which with the fourth perspective emphasizes the subject as a specimen to examine, or “It”.
Exterior plural perspective (lower-right) include Marxist economic theory which focuses upon the behavior of a society (i.e. a plurality of people) as functional entities seen from outside, e.g. “They”.
According to Wilber, all four perspectives offer complementary, rather than contradictory, perspectives. It is possible for all to be correct, and all are necessary for a complete account of human existence. According to Wilber, each by itself offers only a partial view of reality.
According to Wilber modern western society has a pathological focus on the exterior or objective perspective. Such perspectives value that which can be externally measured and tested in a laboratory, but tend to deny or marginalize the left sides (subjectivity, individual experience, feelings, values) as unproven or having no meaning. Wilber identifies this as a fundamental cause of society’s malaise, and names the situation resulting from such perspectives, “flatland”.
^ This interpretation is at odds with structural stage theory, which posits an overall follow-up of stages, instead of variations over several domains.
^ This too is wildly at odds with structural stage theory, but in line with Wilber’s philosophical idealism, which sees the phenomenal world as a concretisation, or immanation, of a “higher,” transcendental reality, which can be “realized” in “religious experience.”
^ The Madhyamaka Two Truths Doctrine discerns two epistemological truths, namely conventional and ultimate. Conventional truth is the truth of phenomenal appearances and causal relations, our daily common-sense world. Ultimate truth is the recognition that no-“thing” exists inherently; every”thing” is empty, sunyata of an unchanging “essence.” It also means that there is no unchanging transcendental reality underlying phenomenal existence. “Formless awareness” belongs to another strand of Indian thinking, namely Advaita and Buddha-nature, which are ontological approaches, and do posit such a transcendental, unchanging reality, namely “awareness” or “consciousness.” Wilber seems to be mixing, or confusing, these two different approaches freely, in his attempt to integrate “everything” into one conceptual scheme.
^ Note that Wilber presents Aurobindo’s level of Being as developmental stages, whereas Aurobindo describes higher development as a Triple Transformation, which includes “psychicisation” (Wilber’s psychic stage), the turn inward and the discovery of the psychic being; spiritualisation, the transformation of the lower being through the realisation of the psychic being, and involves the Higher Mind; and “supramentalisation,” the realisation of Supermind, itself the intermediary between Spirit or Satcitananda and creation. A correct table would include Aurobindo’s Triple Transformation and the Three Beings:
Comparison of the models of Wilber and Aurobindo; differentiating between Aurobindo’s levels of being and Aurobindo’s developmental stages.
^ In his book Integral Spirituality, Wilber identifies a few varieties of states:
The three daily cycling natural states: waking, dreaming, and sleeping.
Penomenal states such as bodily sensations, emotions, mental ideas, memories, or inspirations, or from exterior sources such as our sensorimotor inputs, seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, tasting.
Endogenous or trained states: performance enhancement techniques in sports therapy; meditative training which work on calming, relaxation, equanimity states; and mental imaging and visualization such as tonglen meditation.