Integral Practice, Integral Esotericism - Part Six Alan Kazlev
6-ix . The Cosmic Sphere - Physical Evolution and Evolutionary Cosmology
As mentioned in sect 2-vii, an evolutionary perspective is central to both New Age and Integral understanding. This evolutionary perspective provides a complete Holistic and Integrative system of Science and Arts has to integrate all fields of knowledge, and do so in a way that makes sense, rather than an artificial juxtaposition. Within Integrative studies and the general worldviews of the integral movement, the concept of An evolutionary, teleological cosmology according to which being evolves through successive progressive states of matter, life, and mind, and will still evolve beyond mind to future and higher states seem to be common denominator.
It is found in the writings of Teilhard, Sri Aurobindo, Gebser, Erich Jantsch, Wilber, and many other integral and evolutionary thinkers. This is a theme that goes all the way back to 18th century ideas on the temporialisation of the Great Chain of Being, 18th and 19th century German Idealism represented by Schilling and Hegel; 19th century German Nature Philosophy and English evolutionary thinking, late 19th through to contemporary science fiction, current astrophysics, scientific cosmology, biology, and so on; in 19th and early 20th century Theosophy and Occultism (Blavatsky, Leadbeater, Alice Bailey, etc) and from thence it makes its way to the New Age; and of course in evolutionary philosophers and visionaries such as Sri Aurobindo, Teilhard de Chardin, Alfred North Whitehead (Process Theology), Jean Gebser, Oliver Reiser (Cosmic Humanism), Edward Haskell (Unified Science), Arthur M Young, Erich Jantsch, Clare Graves and the Spiral Dynamics movement, Andrew Cohen, Wilber, and many many others. In many ways this represents the zeitgeist of our age, occurring in both materialistic science, holistic thought, modern esotericism, and the New Age movement. Perhaps for this reason it can also be considered one of the few fundamental and unified doctrines of the integral movement as a whole..
A few examples are shown here, for the sake of comparison. One could create any number of lists of correspondences, the reason being that these are empirically agreed upon levels. Note that only Teilhard and Sri Aurobindo postulated a divinisation stage beyond the spiritual mind or spiritual adept...This opens the way for a unifying evolutionary paradigm, as suggested by Haskell in his thesis regarding Unified Science, according to which different branches of knowledge can be understood as pertaining to the different stages or levels of cosmic and planetary evolution. Thus mathematics (in part), physics and astrophysics pertain to the very earliest levels, which constitute the foundation of space-time, the basic nature of the physical universe, elementary particles and the basic laws of physics, then chemistry, geology, astronomy, meteorology, etc to the second level in the table, then biology and paleontology to the third (organic life), then the various social sciences and applied sciences to the socio-cultural level, the various spiritual teachings and traditions to the spiritual level, and finally only a few teachings actually speak about the divinisation of matter, and these pertain to the column on the right. Following the convention of Vernadsky and Teilhard , one might metaphorically posit terms like spatiosphere or physiosphere and chemosphere or (more accurately) thermodynamo-sphere to precede geosphere, biosphere, and sociosphere or noosphere here, even if "sphere" becomes meaningless (and rather inaccurate) when referring to the known universe as a whole.. The final stage of divinisation, Omega Point or supramentalisation, I refer to as the theosphere (God sphere). Following Werner Schwemmler, the appearance or singularity or symmetry break (Jantsch), which constitutes a new quantum leap of evolution in which each new stage appears can be designated by the suffix -genesis after the appropriate term, as in chemogenesis, biogenesis, sociogenesis, etc...It follows then that a truly integral and integrative transformation should involve all these multitudinal aspects and branches, rather than bias or revolve around one alone. The attitude of compassion, empathy (including telepathic empathy with animals and the rest of nature, including "devic" forces), and stewardship represented by Deep Ecology, Animal Liberation, and Esoteric Integral Ethics has to be applied universally. It is not just the human species, but all life and all creation that contributes to, represents the Divine unfolding of, and proceeds equally towards the eschatological singularity of supramentalistaion. Thus, a totally new approach to teleology is required, as well as an ontology that recognises the subtle physical reality and its interaction with the gross or dense physical.