Saturday, June 09, 2007

Progress report on my book Integral Metaphysics

I haven't posted anything in a whole because I've been so busy on my book, which will now be called Integral Metaphysics

From the preface

The present book is the end result of my own long path of exploration in and experiences with the teachings and practice of science, esotericism, occultism, spirituality, the alternative movement, the New Age movement, and the Integral movement. The result is both a bringing together of all these fields, and a new description of reality that builds on those foundations.

Although the intention here is to present a visionary rather than an academic account, I have tried as much as possible to provide references and footnotes to the various concepts. But because I am an intuitive thinker rather than an academic, there are more details and much better references when it comes to subjects I know about, and much less, or only secondary or tertiary references, on topics I am not. I have also tried to write this book in a way that anyone can understand, yet at the same include complex and subtle topics. This has meant wherever possible replacing a difficult word with a simpler one. Whether or not I have succeeded is up to the reader to decide.

From the introduction: (about the title)

The title, “Integral Metaphysics”, refers to the synthesis of two topics that have grabbed my interest over the years. “Integral” (in the philosophical and spiritual context) is a poorly defined concept that refers to a universal explanation of everything in terms of an evolutionary philosophy of personal and social transformation. “Metaphysics” refers to all the big questions about the nature of life, the universe, and Reality as a whole. It pertains not just to the visible physical world, but the invisible, non-physical reality as well. “Integral Metaphysics” combines both these themes. It also describes an evolutionary transformation culminating in personal and global divinisation.

Tentative table of contents (without indenting, and the minor sections in parts IV to VII are not generally worked out, and those that are listed are not numbered). Note that this list and arrangement of topics will almost certainly change as the book proceeds. I am very interested in any comments and feedback, inclyuding suggestions for further topics that should be included.

Part I. Introduction
1. Introduction
1-i Outline of the Present Book
1-ii How this book came to be written
1-iii. Don't take this book as dogma
2. Biographies
2-i. Difficulties facing the biographer
2-ii. Sri Aurobindo
2-iii. The Mother
2-v. Avoiding the fundamentalist trap
Part II Integral
3. Exoteric and Esoteric
3-i. Religion and Science, Exoteric and Esoteric
3-ii. Esotericism is not Elitism
4. Going beyond the current Consensus
4-i. The Consensus Western Worldview
4-ii. Religionism
4-iii. “Religious” versus “Spiritual”
4-iv. Secular knowledge, Science and Scientism
4-v. The Limitation of Reason
4-vi The need for a new, more Universal understanding
5. The Universal Approach
5-i The Blind Men and the Elephant
5-ii The Fox and the Hedgehog – Relativism and Universalism
6. The Integral Alternative
6-i. “Integral” in the spiritual-philosophical sense
6-ii. Sri Aurobindo and his influence
6-iii. Pitirim Sorokin's social theory
6-iv. Jean Gebser's structures of consciousness
6-v. Counter-Culture, New Age, and the Alternative movement
6-vi. Ray and Anderson's Cultural Creatives
6-vii. Ken Wilber's Integral theory
6-viii. Other Integral thinkers
6-ix. Exoteric Integralism
6-x. Kuhn's Paradigm hypothesis, and follow-up interpretations
6-xi. Is there such a thing as an “Integral Paradigm”?
6-xii. The Moral dimension
6-xiii. Exoteric Integral – a definition
Part III Metaphysics
7. Metaphysics
7-i. The many definitions of Metaphysics
8. What is Consciousness?
8-i Philosophy of Consciousness - The Mind-Body problem
8-ii. Consciousness in Kashmir Shaivism
9. Esotericism and Gnosis
9-i The recovery of spiritual wisdom
9-ii. Reason, Faith, and Gnosis
9-iii. Epistemology and Gnosis
9-iv. Occultism
9-v. Esotericism
9-vi. The Perennial Philosophy
9-vii. The Mystical Experience
9-viii. Beyond the refusal of the Ascetic
9-ix. A personal definition of Gnosis
10 Reply to the Academic Critique
10-i. Reply to empiricist-based physicalism
10-ii. Reply to the “myth of the given”.
10-iii. Reply to postmodernism
10-iv. Why sceptical reductionism cannot understand esotericism
11. The Esoteric Integral Alternative
11-i. Defining the Esoteric Integral Paradigm
11-ii. Fundamental premises
Part IV. First Philosophy (chapters to be revised)
12. The Supreme Reality
o The Absolute Reality
o The problem of defining God
o (more)
13. Emanation, Polarity, and Change
o The Ontological Gradation and the Theory of Emanation
o Polarity
o From One to Many
14. Causality, Karma, and Empathy
o Dependent Origination
o Change
Part V. Being
15. Occultism and Cosmology (the macrocosm)
o The Concept of Planes of Existence
o Dualism versus Ontological Gradation
o Hierarchy and Unity
o Multiple Parameters
o Noospace – Dimensions of Consciousness
16. Psychology (the microcosm)
17. The Physocosm (Larger Physical Reality) and its subdivisions
o The Physocosm and its four states
o Physical-Mundane Reality (or state)
o The Mundane Physical Mind
o Etherophysical (paraphysical) Reality
o Subtle physical (esoteric) Reality
o Causal physical Reality
o Inner Divinity
18. Astral Reality - Orectocosm
19. Mental Reality – Noocosm
Part VI. Process
20. Process
21 Kalpas and Universes
22 Tohu and Tikkun
23 Rounds and Dimensions
24. Evolution and Hypostases
Part VII. Divinisation
25 The Yoga of Ascent and the Yoga of Descent
26. Enlightenment / Self-Realisation
27. Divine Soul / Soul-Realisatrion
28. Higher revelation and gnosis
29. Cosmic revelation – God-Realisation
30. Supramentalisation (Cosmic Redemption)
o Appendix 1 - “The Divinisation Of Matter - Lurianic Kabbalah, Sri Aurobindo, and the New Physics” by M.Alan Kazlev
o Appendix 2 - “Towards a Foundation of a Universal Esoteric Science”, by M.Alan Kazlev, (with additional comments by Steven Guth and Arvan Harvat)
o Appendix 3 – “Multidimensional Science” by Robert Searle
Glossary of names and teachings
Glossary of technical terms

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Blogger Shiva Vangara said...

My dear otherself Alan,

I'm glad to read the excerpts of your
"Intergral Metaphysics"'s torch light to the restless seekers to calm down and put them on a sunlit path.

I admire your synthesis and presentation of the Sri Aurobindo's ultimate evolutionary, Inevitable and Integral Transformation.

As you have spent 10yrs...and feeling bit confused and asking for the others comments and feed back..I feel yoy better wait few more years in silence and you receive the clear, emphetical Intutive Revelation..don't hurry up to bublish the book..unless you feel an absolute certitude that all you have written is flowing from within.


4:09 AM  
Blogger m alan kazlev said...

hi Shiva!

Thanks for your comments and words of encouragement!

However there may be a misunderstanding. You have written that I might be confused and that is why I am asking for the others' comments and feedback. But if I was in the slightest way confused I would never have embarked on such an ambitious project! The reason I want feedback and constructive criticism is so both to see what possible issues and objections may arise in the minds of readers of my work, so these can be explained in the book, and also so I can be sure that the book as a whole is easy to read and understand.

Too often writers of esoteric and spiritual philosophy, although possessed of many profound insights, have worked in isolation, or are surrounded only by devotees who do not give them cutting criticism that is needed to temper and refine their writing. Because of this, their work, although still insightful and useful, remains something that ahs been written from an insular perspective, isolated from the larger community. In this context, my book, while still ultimately a commentary on Sri Aurobindo and the Mother's great work of transformation, is at the same time a work of collaboration with many others, including those who might disagree with my ideas. Such an emerging collective creativity or collective insight, does indeed seem to be a characteristic of the current process of global transformation.

best wishes

12:29 AM  

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